Arsenal will reportedly move for Philippe Coutinho in the summer if they fail to sign Martin Odegaard permanently, with Barcelona seeking just £35 million for him.
According to a report from Spanish publication Sport, Arsenal are set to rekindle their interest in Barcelona superstar Philippe Coutinho in the summer transfer window.
Coutinho joined Barcelona from Liverpool in the January transfer window of 2018 in a club-record deal worth €160 million. After a spell that sparked early optimism, the Brazilian has been on a constant, steep decline. Having fallen out of favour at the club, the 28-year-old was loaned out to Bayern Munich in 2019.
Coutinho performed fairly well in Bavaria but it was not good enough for Bayern Munich to want to sign him on a permanent basis. Having returned to Barcelona in the summer, Coutinho was handed a fresh start under new manager Ronald Koeman and he looked bright again before an injury in December ruled him out of action.
Coutinho is yet to return to full fitness, but Barcelona have seemingly made up their mind to offload him at the end of the season as they look to avoid further bonus payments to Liverpool. This has seemingly piqued the interest of Arsenal, who were so very close to signing Coutinho last summer as well.
Arsenal endured a myriad of creative problems in the attacking third at the onset of the season. However, they have been eased by the January arrival of Martin Odegaard, who was brought in on loan from Real Madrid. The Norwegian has made a handy impact over the past couple of months, sparking suggestions that Arsenal will look to sign him permanently.
However, any deal for Odegaard could require the Gunners to shell out a massive transfer fee. Furthermore, with the Norwegian impressing at the Emirates, there would also be the question of whether Real Madrid would sanction a permanent exit.
In case a move for Odegaard does not materialise, Arsenal have identified Coutinho as Plan B. This is because the Gunners enjoy a healthy relationship with the Brazilian’s agent Kia Joorabchian, which would make things easier in terms of helping facilitate a transfer.
Following this development, another report from the Daily Star has now claimed that Barcelona would be demanding a transfer fee of just £35 million for Coutinho. That would mean the Catalans would be taking a huge loss on their investment in him, but Barcelona are desperate to get him off the books at the end of the season.
This is something that could further appeal to Arsenal as the valuation would be well within their reach and in exchange, they will be getting a player with proven pedigree in the Premier League. It now remains to be seen if Barcelona are successful in offloading Coutinho in the summer and whether it is Arsenal who sign him up.