Former Chelsea star Frank Lebouf has warned the club against signing Philippe Coutinho.
Barcelona are inclined to sell their Brazilian for a fee of £80m with Chelsea heavily interested in him. The Blues lost their talisman in Eden Hazard last season and Coutinho with his flair, goals and star status promises to tick all those boxes. However, the former Liverpool star, who was a hit at Anfield, may not be the same player after over two years of disappointment in Barcelona.
And Lebouf has warned the Blues against making a potential gamble for a big money signing.
He said, ‘Well, to be really honest, and frank, no [Chelsea should not sign him]. ‘I think Coutinho is a good player and I’m not even trying to be harsh on him, I think I want to find Barcelona guilty for the situation because they put a price on Coutinho who I think doesn’t belong to that league. ‘Now it’s hard to reverse the system, it’s hard to think that you can even the price and accept to lose like £65m for a transfer.”
“But if you check on the quality of Coutinho, of course he is a talented player, of course he is a good player, but does he belong to the top, top players? Allow me to have some doubts about that. ‘When I see Neymar, when I see [Cristiano] Ronaldo, when I see [Lionel] Messi, when I see [Kylian] Mbappe, I see top, top players. ‘Coutinho has a price of a top, top player and I don’t want to make a statement but I’m not sure he has the quality of a top, top player.”
“How do you reverse the system? ‘How do you put Coutinho in a team and how do you rate him now? ‘You talk about Chelsea, ready to [pay] £80m. I think it’s too much for a player where you’re not sure he’s going to find the level he was, he used to be, at Liverpool and is not anymore. ‘That’s why I think Coutinho shouldn’t go to Chelsea because there is no room for him and I think it is too much to spend for a player where we don’t know the standard.”
Lebouf’s warning does come with solid logic and the Blues will have to measure their funds smartly before throwing in £80 million in the market.