CHELSEA are set to miss out on the chance to sign Philippe Coutinho as their transfer ban begins to bite.
The Blues are currently in the process of appealing a two-window suspension imposed on them by Fifa which means at present they cannot register any new players.
1 Philippe Coutinho is said to be closing on PSG move with Chelsea unable to push through interest because of their transfer banCredit: Getty – Contributor
That has left them with a major hole in their squad having seen star player Eden Hazard quit to join Real Madrid last week.
Barcelona star Coutinho had been earmarked as a potential replacement for Hazard to provide the creativity at Stamford Bridge.
Initial discussions are even thought to have taken place to discover if Barca would be willing to sell and whether the player would be open to joining Chelsea.
But now the club have become resigned to the fact their appeal is not going to be decided in time for them to avoid having to sit out the entire summer transfer window this year.
Struggles for form
And that has left Coutinho ripe for pinching by another of Europe's big clubs – with Paris Saint-Germain now a possible destination.
Reports in Spain and France suggest the 27-year-old former Liverpool star is closing in on a move to the French capital.
Coutinho has struggled to produce his best form since his £145million move to the Nou Camp 15 months ago, often being forced to be content with roles as a sub.
It has led to the Brazilian expressing an interest to his Barca bosses in moving on this summer, a proposal the club have not turned down.
No firm bid for the player has come in to Barcelona at this stage, but that appears to have not stopped his advisers talking to other sides.
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Agent Kia Joorabchian is said to have held several meetings with PSG's sporting director Leonardo, which are believed to have gone well.
There is the potential for Coutinho to become the latest in a string of Brazilians at PSG, along with Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Neymar.
The future of Neymar still remains unclear, and Coutinho could even replace him at a club for the second time have gone to Barcelona to fill his absence in the first place.