Chelsea are considering a loan deal to sign Philippe Coutinho as an alternative to Jadon Sancho because they fear the Borussia Dortmund winger will join Manchester United, sources have told ESPN.
Sancho, 20, is expected to leave Dortmund this summer in a deal worth more than £100 million and Chelsea have been monitoring his situation for months with a view to making an offer.
However, sources have told ESPN that senior figures at Stamford Bridge believe United are winning the race to sign Sancho, and while they have not entirely given up hope, other alternatives are now being discussed.
Coutinho, 27, is one such option. He is on loan at Bayern Munich from parent club Barcelona.
The Bundesliga side are unwilling to meet a £97m buyout clause they agreed for Coutinho, who is already planning for life away from the club with his agent Kia Joorabchian sounding out possible suitors.