Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has reportedly earmarked Philippe Coutinho as the ideal fit to replace Eden Hazard, who appears on the cusp of joining Real Madrid this summer.
The Belgium international has shown no signs of extending his deal with the Blues and reports have widely indicated that the club are likely to sanction his sale with his contract expiring at the end of next season.
According to Cadena SER, Abramovich is understood to be already planning for the future with Coutinho – now in the ranks of Barcelona – regarded as the ideal choice to replace the Belgian playmaker.
Coutinho has endured a difficult spell with the Blaugrana since making his initial £105m from Liverpool and reports indicate that the Blues are the sole side across Europe interested in signing him.
Furthermore, it is suggested that the Catalan giants could take a loss on their playmaker and they could accept a fee in the region of £90m, which the Blues will recoup from the proposed sale of Hazard.
Still, everything depends on whether the Blues can overcome or freeze their transfer ban and a verdict regarding the same will be found when they make their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.