Newcastle already in talks with representatives of Barcelona star as first PIF signing

Barcelona's Emerson Royal, Phillipe Coutinho, Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele, August 2021

Newcastle’s new owners are reportedly already in talks with the representatives of a top Barcelona star, as they look to make a big splash in the January transfer window.

Thursday was a historic day for the famous north east club, as Mike Ashley sold Newcastle to the Saudi-led Public Investment Fund (PIF) for £300million. The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, has been listed as the chair of PIF, with his value reportedly close to £250bn. That, in turn, makes Newcastle the richest club in the world.

Pundits and fans have already been speculating on who the club will try and buy. Meanwhile, former Italy boss Antonio Conte has been tipped to take over from Steve Bruce as manager.

PIF have already stated their intention to be competing in Europe and are also chasing Premier League title success.

However, only Joe Willock, Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton have any European experience to speak of. To that end, there is expected to be some serious business done in the next few transfer windows.

And according to Spanish outlet Sport, Barca star Philippe Coutinho is at the top of their wishlist.


It is claimed that PIF have already approached the playmaker’s representatives over a potential move.

The report adds that the financially troubled Catalan giants are prepared to listen to offers of around £42m for Coutinho.

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Coutinho needs a change of scenery

The 29-year-old joined Barcelona back in January 2018 in a record deal worth up to £142m. However, he has failed to live up to expectations since then.

Despite returning to starting line-up under Ronald Koeman, the Brazilian is still struggling to make a major impact.

He’s since returned to the starting line-up under Ronald Koeman this season, but the Brazilian has struggled to make an impact.

We listed Coutinho as one of five top players Newcastle might look to attract with their newfound wealth. However, they will need to convince the player that a return to the Premier League is the right option.

Coutinho has previously been linked with Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton. But it looks likely Newcastle are ready to steal a march on their rivals and try and seal a deal in January.