Arsenal are reportedly in talks with Barcelona regarding the transfer of Philippe Coutinho to the club.
The Brazilian made himself a household Premier League name during his five-year stay at Liverpool, joining the Merseyside outfit for just £8.5 million in 2013 from Inter Milan, before leaving the club in January 2018 for a fee of up to £142 million.
During his time in England, Coutinho netted 41 goals in 152 Premier League appearances, his eye-catching form for Jurgen Klopp’s side earning him his big-money switch to Barcelona.
However, since moving to the Camp Nou, Coutinho’s career has somewhat hit the skids, failing to establish himself as a regular at the Catalan club, before being shipped off to Bayern Munich on a season long-loan last summer.
While Bayern have a €120 million option to make the loan permanent, it is not an option that the Bavarian’s are planning on taking up, and with Barcelona looking to balance the books, Coutinho is expected to be one of the club’s more high profile departures this summer.
His agent, Kia Joorabchian, has previously spoken about his client’s desire to return to the Premier League, and according to the Evening Standard, Arsenal have been in talks over a potential deal.
They claim that the Gunners were ‘willing to offer’ Matteo Guendouzi as part of a potentially permanent player-plus-cash deal, though with Barcelona wanting €80m for Coutinho, and being ‘not interested’ in the young Frenchman, a loan deal looks to be the more likely option.
Coutinho’s current salary of around €13.7m-a-year (£240,000-a-week) is said to be ‘prohibitive’ for the North London side, though the report adds that Barcelona are willing to subsidise up to half of his wages to assist with the deal.
Aside from Arsenal, the 28-year-old has been linked with a whole host of clubs in the Premier League, including Chelsea and Spurs, though Frank Lampard already seems well-stocked in attacking areas, while Jose Mourinho is believed to be working on a shoestring budget this summer following the club’s expensive stadium move last year.