Arsenal are reportedly still interested in signing Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona before the summer transfer window slams shut next month.
According to a report by Spanish publication Sport, Arsenal have rekindled their pursuit of Philippe Coutinho. Ronald Koeman is prepared to hand the Brazilian playmaker a second chance at Camp Nou in the coming season, but the Gunners believe Barcelona’s dire financial situation could force their hand.
Coutinho joined Barcelona from Liverpool in January 2018 in what was a dream move for him. But, after a decent start to life at the Catalan club, the dream turned into a nightmare for Coutinho, who endured a horrendous 2018/19 campaign at Camp Nou. His stock plummeted so much that the Brazilian international was shipped out on loan to Bayern Munich last summer.
At the Allianz Arena, the 28-year-old fared much better, with 11 goals and 9 assists in 38 outings. However, the German heavyweights chose not to exercise their option to buy Coutinho, who has since returned to Barcelona. Having said that, Arsenal are hoping to prise him away before the summer transfer window slams shut.
This is not the first time that Arsenal have been linked with Coutinho, who was also touted to be a part of a possible swap deal including Matteo Guendouzi. A move did not materialise then, but the north Londoners have reignited their interest in the Brazilian playmaker.
Arsenal have been rumoured to be in the market for a midfielder this summer, with Houssem Aouar one of their primary targets. However, Lyon’s asking price for the Frenchman seems to be holding the deal up at the moment. As a result, Arsenal are having to identify other options, with Barcelona struggler Coutinho on their radar as well.
While Coutinho is a different profile of midfielder to Aouar, it is important to note that Mesut Ozil is currently exiled from the first-team, with Mikel Arteta suggesting that it is difficult for him to break back into the side. As a result, Ozil’s future at the Emirates is uncertain, with Arsenal now hoping to swoop Coutinho away from Barcelona as a result.
Ronald Koeman is believed to be willing to give the former Liverpool star another chance in the first-team setup. However, Arsenal believe that Barcelona’s difficult financial situation could force them to listen to offers for Coutinho.
A price, though, has not been mentioned in the report, but Sport claim that Arsenal, themselves in a precarious position financially, are hopeful of securing him on a loan deal. What now remains to be seen is if the Gunners do manage to prise Coutinho away from Barcelona, or if Koeman ends up keeping him at Camp Nou.