Gary Neville blasts Chelsea board over Coutinho transfer move


Gary Neville has blasted Chelsea board for pursuing £75million Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona amid the coronavirus crisis.

Barcelona have reportedly offered Chelsea the opportunity to sign former Liverpool midfielder Coutinho this summer window.

But Manchester United legend Gary Neville believes it is ‘illogical’ for Chelsea to even be considering transfer moves at a time when their current players could be set to take pay cuts at the club.

This week, it was reported that Chelsea players have agreed to take a 10 per cent pay cut as they look to reduce losses from lack of revenue during the coronavirus crisis.

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Reacting to the rumours linking Chelsea with a transfer move for Philippe Coutinho, Neville told Sky Sports: ‘It’s like a parallel universe.

‘[Blues captain] Cesar Azpilicueta has apparently been in talks with the Chelsea board over the past three weeks as they’re looking for a 10/15 per cent pay cut.

‘For the Chelsea players to hear in the next breathe that the club are looking to buy Philippe Coutinho for £75m… it’s like, “what one is it?”

‘If I was a player now I’d be looking at a wage deferral that potentially turns into a cut at a certain point in time.

‘But if the club increase their budget or sign a player for £75m, you have to pay our money first.

‘I’d say “you can’t go and sign a player for £75m and then say you can’t pay us fully”. It’s just illogical, it doesn’t make sense.’

Philippe Coutinho spent five years at Anfield – scoring 54 goals in 201 matches for Liverpool – before joining Barca in January in a deal worth more than £140m.

But the Brazil international – now 27 – has struggled at Barcelona and was sent on loan to Bayern Munich at the start of the campaign.

Chelsea are targeting a move for Coutinho as they expect Premier League rivals Manchester United to sign Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho.


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