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Newcastle United favourites to sign ex-Liverpool star

Philippe Coutinho news

Newcastle United initiate talks with Coutinho's agent

Newcastle United are reportedly leading the race to sign Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho after opening talks with the player's representative.

The Brazilian is presently out on loan at Bayern Munich but he is expected to return to the Camp Nou this summer with the German side having opted against triggering the buy clause.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have all been credited with an interest in the Brazil international but according to France Football, the Magpies are heading the pursuit of the player's services.

The Tyneside outfit are expected to be taken over by a Saudi-based consortium which would put them in a strong financial situation and they are planning to bring in a number of marquee signings.

Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani has already been touted to join on a free transfer and it appears that the Magpies will seek to lure Coutinho from the Blaugrana, possibly on an initial loan deal.

The 27-year-old previously spent six years in the Premier League with Liverpool. Agent Kia Joorabchian confirmed last week that the Brazilian would favour a return to England this summer.