According to Spanish newspaper Sport (December 27, page 5), agents of Philippe Coutinho are travelling to London to hold talks with Arsenal over a potential move next month.
The Brazilian has had a torrid time at Barcelona since his £142 million move from Liverpool in January 2018 (Guardian). He has looked nothing like the player he once was and the Catalans have been trying to get rid of him for a while now.
Coutinho is 29 already and has just over 18 months left on his contract. It’s clear that he has no future at Barcelona and if the report is to be believed, a return to the Premier League may well be an option next month.
Arsenal have reportedly asked Barcelona about Coutinho
Barcelona are desperate to get rid of Coutinho in the January transfer window. The Brazilian would be a great option to plenty of clubs, but his mammoth £406,000-a-week salary is a huge problem.
There’s no way Arsenal would even consider paying that amount of money to Coutinho, but the report claims that the Gunners have asked about the conditions that would make this deal possible.
Barcelona are reportedly willing to pay a part of his wages if a club agrees to take him on loan. To sort out a deal, the Brazilian’s agents are on their way to London, presumably to speak to Arsenal among other interested clubs.
The Insider’s View:
This makes no sense whatsoever.
Coutinho’s best position is attacking midfield. Arsenal already have Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe there, and the latter can’t even get into the starting lineup despite scoring in four consecutive games as a substitute.
The Brazilian can also play on the left flank, but with Gabriel Martinelli playing as well as he is now, we don’t need another player there either.
Furthermore, the Gunners’ transfer policy at the moment is to buy young players with a very high ceiling. Coutinho does not fit that profile, which makes this move as unlikely as anything we’ve seen in recent years.