According to reports via the Mirror, Arsenal are still keen on signing Philippe Coutinho this summer and believe Barcelona chiefs may be willing to let him leave despite Ronald Koeman wanting to keep hold of the South American.
Mikel Arteta wants to add some creativity to the squad and we were strongly linked with a move for Coutinho earlier in the summer after Bayern Munich turned down the chance of making his loan move permanent.
There were even rumours at the time that Coutinho had visited our London Colney training base and at one point it looked likely that Arsenal were set to sign the Brazilian international an on initial loan deal.
The proposed move then appeared to collapse after Koeman became the new Barcelona boss and he made it clear he wanted to keep hold of Coutinho. The 28-year-old has featured in all of Barca’s pre-season friendlies and has been tipped to start in their La Liga opener against Villarreal on Sunday.
However, the Mirror are citing a report in SPORT that claims Arsenal haven’t given up hope of signing Coutinho as club bosses feel Barcelona chiefs may be willing to let him leave to help ease their financial problems.
Barca need to cut around 30% off their wage bill and have already offloaded a number of players including Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo, Arthur, Arda Turan, Arturo Vidal, Marc Cucurella and Carlos Perez.
The Catalans still need to trim their squad further and it appears Arsenal are hoping to take advantage of the situation by offering to take Coutinho on an initial loan, possibly with a view to making it permanent next summer.
We’ll have to see if anything comes of these reports but I’ve always said I think Coutinho would be an excellent addition to the squad so I’d love to see us pull this off somehow.
The attacking midfielder was outstanding at Liverpool and while his career has derailed since joining Barca in 2018, Coutinho is still a hugely talented player who would be an upgrade on several of Arsenal’s current squad.
However, I personally don’t think this will happen. Coutinho will no doubt want a chance to resurrect his career at the Nou Camp so I can only see him leaving if he’s pushed out the door again – which isn’t likely with Koeman keen to keep hold of him.