Chelsea transfer news: Blues targeting former Liverpool ace Philippe Coutinho as Eden Hazard replacement
Chelsea are targeting former Liverpool ace Philippe Coutinho as the ‘perfect replacement’ for Eden Hazard, according to reports.
Hazard, the Belgium forward, has long been linked with a big-money transfer to Real Madrid, and it is believed he will finally complete a move to the Bernabeu this summer.
Replacing Hazard will be an almost impossible task for the Blues, and it will be all the more difficult should Chelsea’s transfer ban be upheld.
The west London club were given a two-window ban for breaking regulations concerning the signing of underage players, and they are appealing the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
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Coutinho has failed to live up to his reputation since joining Barcelona for £142million last January, though the ex-Liverpool man is a proven Premier League star and could go some way to filling the void Hazard would leave if Real secure the Belgium ace.
If Chelsea fail to sign Coutinho they will instead target Nicolas Pepe, the report adds.
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Pepe has quickly become one of Europe’s most in-demand players given his remarkable season with Lille, with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all allegedly eyeing the Ivory Coast forward.
Pepe is far less proven than Coutinho, though at 23 he is younger and will likely be available for cheaper than Barcelona’s Brazilian midfielder, with Lille reportedly wanting around £70million for their star winger.
Source: SportsLatest TS