Gary Neville thinks it would be “illogical” for Chelsea to spend £75million on Philippe Coutinho after discussion of a 10% pay cut with players during the global crisis.
Various reports, including from Sky Sports, recently suggested Chelsea are getting closer to landing Coutinho from Barcelona.
The 27-year-old is still on a loan spell at Bayern Munich, but the Bundesliga giants have reportedly made it clear they will not trigger the permanent option included in their deal with Barcelona.
Barcelona are reportedly demanding a fee of around €80-90m for Coutinho, although the Catalan club would be willing to offload Coutinho on a season-long loan, as long as an obligation to buy is inserted in the deal (Sport).
Former Manchester United defender Neville said such a luxurious investment would be a bad idea as Chelsea players have reportedly agreed to a pay deferral.
He told Sky Sports: “To hear in the next breath, as a Chelsea player looking at a 10-15% wage deferral or reduction, that they are looking to buy Coutinho for £70-odd million, you’d be like ‘well, which one is it?
“If I was a player in a dressing room now, I would look at a referral that could turn into a pay cut at a certain point in time. But, if the club increase their budget or sign a player for £75m I’d be saying, ‘you have to pay our money first.’
“You cannot go and sign a player for £75m and tell your players you cannot pay them, it’s just illogical.”
As football came to a halt due to coronavirus, clubs across the globe including Chelsea have been losing practically most of their revenues which mainly come from broadcast and matchday (gate receipts).
The Premier League have made the decision to postpone the season indefinitely and there has been no sign of football coming back any soon.