Chelsea tipped to step up pursuit of Brazilian ace after key decision made on his future

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Chelsea are reportedly preparing an offer for Philippe Coutinho after Bayern Munich confirmed that they haven’t exercised their option to sign him outright.

As noted by BBC Sport, the 27-year-old joined the reigning Bundesliga champions on a season-long loan deal last summer, while they had an option to sign him on a permanent basis for €120m at the conclusion of that agreement.

After bagging just nine goals and eight assists in 32 appearances, it appears as though he hasn’t done enough to impress the Bavarian giants to sign him on the current agreement terms at least, with AS reporting that Bayern chief Karl-Heinze Rummenigge has confirmed that the option to buy has expired and they’ve not exercised that right.

Although he did perhaps leave the door open to fresh negotiations with Barcelona over a deal if they do want Coutinho to return next season, that initial decision ultimately sends the Brazilian international back to the Camp Nou at the end of the current campaign as things stand with question marks over his future.

According to Sport, following on from that decision, Chelsea, Newcastle Utd and Leicester City are all being tipped to step up their pursuit and perhaps put on offer on the table with either a loan deal or transfer bid not being ruled out.

Time will tell if any of them launch an official offer in the coming months, but ultimately it does now present them with a chance to get Coutinho if they want him as Bayern have opened that window of opportunity.

With Pedro and Willian both set to leave Chelsea at the end of the season when their respective contracts expire, Frank Lampard will arguably be in need of further attacking reinforcements to add to Hakim Ziyech, with the Blues already confirming a deal is done for the Ajax ace this summer.

Coutinho could provide them with a boost as although he has struggled to hit top form since leaving Liverpool in 2018, there is no doubt that he remains a world-class player on his day.

Returning to the Premier League could help him rediscover that level, although the first crucial decision now is perhaps with Barcelona boss Quique Setien and whether or not he wants to work with him next season to give him a chance to prove his worth with the Catalan giants as Coutinho departed before he was appointed as Ernesto Valverde’s successor.

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