Chelsea have been warned off a move for Philippe Coutinho, with Frank Leboeuf struggling to see where the Brazilian playmaker would fit into Frank Lampard’s plans.
A big-money approach from Stamford Bridge for the South American schemer has been mooted.
With Coutinho struggling to prove his worth during a loan spell at Bayern Munich, it is unlikely that a purchase option will be taken up by the German giants and that will force the 27-year-old back to parent club Barcelona.
There is seemingly no future for him at Camp Nou either, with the reigning Liga champions preparing to cut their losses on a midfielder lured away from Liverpool in January 2018.
Chelsea are among those said to be keen on offering Coutinho a clean slate and, given his past success in English football at Anfield, he could be considered a useful asset for any ambitious Premier League side in need of added creativity.
Leboeuf is, however, not convinced that a youthful Chelsea team would be the best fit, with there obvious questions to ask of Coutinho’s confidence and form on the back of two high-profile flops.
Quizzed by ESPN FC on whether he can see a deal being done, former Blues defender Leboeuf said: “I don’t think so.
“Coutinho has been good with Liverpool, so far poor with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
“I would have lots of question marks seeing him coming to Chelsea, to bring what?
“We have young players, very talented, who are very promising. We have good midfield players with [Mateo] Kovacic and Jorginho, to organise the game.
“I don’t know where his place would be. If I was the chairman, if I was the coach, I would be very hesitant to pick him up.”
Coutinho spent five years at Liverpool, taking in 201 appearances and contributing 54 goals.
He found the target 21 times in 76 outings for Barca, but failed to make the impact expected of him on the back of a £105 million ($121m) transfer.
That led to him being loaned out to Bayern, but the current campaign, which has now been disrupted by coronavirus-enforced postponements, has delivered just nine goals and eight assists through 32 games in all competitions.