Philippe Coutinho and Alex Telles are close to signing for Premier League side Chelsea in a £100m double deal ahead of the next transfer window, according to reports.
Both players have been touted as potential signings, as Blues boss Frank Lampard looks to give his squad the jump in quality they need to compete with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City going forward.
And reports from Italy suggest Chelsea are in talks with both players, with the west London outfit holding a key advantage over any transfer rivals due to their relationship with the players’ agents – as reported in the Daily Express.
Italian journalist Nicolo Schira claims Porto want €40million (£35m) for Telles, with this believed to be the Brazilian full-back’s release clause.
And he also says that the Blues have opened talks with Barcelona over a move for Coutinho, although Tottenham are also interested in the 27-year-old playmaker.
Importantly, Schira points out that the Blues have strong relationships with the agents of both players which could help close out any deals.
#Chelsea are in talks to sign Alex #Telles (Porto want €40M) and #Coutinho (also Tottenham are interested in him). The good relationship with their agents Pini Zahavi and Kia Joorabchian could help #Blues to finalize the deal. #transfers #CFC
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) April 1, 2020
Telles has recently changed agents, with the left-back now represented by Pini Zahavi after previously having his sister Hellen deal with his affairs.
Zahavi has close links with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, having helped the Russian purchase the Blues way back in 2003.
And this link could be key in snapping up Telles, who is now first-choice on Frank Lampard’s list of defensive targets after interest has been cooled in Leicester’s Ben Chilwell due to his £85m price tag.
Telles is out of contract in 2021 and has already told Porto he will not sign an extension keeping him at the Estadio do Dragao.
The 27-year-old would certainly bolster Chelsea’s attacking threat on the left flank, having scored 21 goals and provided 52 assists in 183 appearances across all competitions in Portugal.
As for Coutinho, the former Liverpool midfielder is considered surplus to requirements at Barcelona and may now be available for a bargain price, given the current financial doubts surrounding the game.
Barca paid £142m to bring in Coutinho in January 2018, but according to transfermarkt the player is now valued at a lowly £63m.
The Brazilian has been on loan at Bayern Munich, who had an option to but were put off by the £100m asking price, and it would appear that a return to the Premier League remains his most likely outcome.
Tottenham are believed to have come close to signing Coutinho last summer but a deal collapsed, so Chelsea may look to take advantage of any lingering mistrust and exploit their relationship with agent Kia Joorabchian.
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