Chelsea Eye £140m Philippe Coutinho As Eden Hazard Replacement

Philippe Coutinho is the man Chelsea want to replace Eden Hazard — if they can get their transfer ban overturned.

The Blues are keen on a deal for Barcelona’s former Liverpool star, whether or not manager Maurizio Sarri stays. Perennial Serie A champions Juventus are still keen to bring him home to Italy after just one year to be their new boss.

Brazil international Coutinho quit Anfield for the Nou Camp in a whopping £142m move 18 months ago, but is already surplus to requirements following Barca’s failure in the Champions League this season. But he is being seen at Stamford Bridge as the man to fill Hazard’s boots when he make his expected switch to Real Madrid.

The Europa League’s new champions have been banned from signing players during the next two transfer windows, until the end of January 2020, for breaking rules over the acquisition of under-18 players. But they insist they are innocent — and are prepared to go as far as appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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