Chelsea are in pole position to land former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho after the final hurdle before the move can be completed was revealed.
The Brazilian, 27, developed into one of the world’s premier attacking players towards the end of his time on Merseyside.
His electric form led to interest from Spanish giants Barcelona, with the blockbuster £142m switch going through in the 2018 January window.
Coutinho found his Anfield success hard to replicate at the Camp Nou, however, resulting in a humbling loan exit to Bayern Munich for the 2019-20 campaign and the player himself admitting to an error of judgement at departing the Reds.
The Bavarians are reportedly reluctant to turn his temporary spell permanent, ensuring the destination of Coutinho for next season will be one of the hottest topics over the summer.
A plethora of Premier League sides have registered interest including Arsenal and a side you might not expect, but Frank Lampard’s Chelsea have emerged as the number one contenders.
Now, a report from British newspaper the Daily Express (who cite Sport) has revealed that Lampard is ‘simply waiting on Stamford Bridge officials to sign off on the deal before they officially make their move.’
Lampard is described as being determined to ‘get the best out of the 27-year-old if he makes the switch to west London,’ with his potentially devastating axis with Ziyech duly noted.
Coutinho’s agent – Kia Joorabchian – recently added fuel to the fire that his client’s next destination would be a return to the Premier League.
“After the Champions League game he played in England we had a long chat about it,” said Joorabchian on Friday to Sky Sports.
“The Premier League is something that he has always enjoyed playing in, and loved playing in, and would probably love to come back and play in.
“The question is what are going to be the financial conditions of all the clubs, including Barcelona and all the Premier League clubs at the end of this pandemic.”