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Arsenal and Barcelona discussing swap deal involving Guendouzi and Coutinho

Arsenal and Barcelona are discussing a swap deal that would see Guendouzi head to Spain and Coutinho arrive at the Emirates, according to French media outlet Foot Mercato.

Matteo Guendouzi has not been included in a single matchday squad since Arsenal lost to Brighton almost a month ago. He had an altercation with Neil Maupay in the closing stages of that game.

An internal review of his actions including but not limited to this individual incident was held in the presence of Arteta and the Arsenal hierarchy. It is believed that Guendouzi’s inability to apologise and take responsibility for his behaviour disappointed Arteta who has made him train on his own for the last few weeks. It looks unlikely that the former Lorient midfielder will be able to work his way back into the Spaniard’s plans. 

Coutinho is a player that Barcelona are keen on moving on. Getting him off their wage bill would free up much needed funds to pursue targets like Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan. The Brazilian joined Barcelona amid much fanfare in January 2018 for an initial fee of £105 million rising to £142 million based on add ons. He has failed to live up to his potential in Spain and was sent out on loan to Bayern Munich this season. 

The former Liverpool star’s time at Bayern Munich was reasonably successful but the Bavarians decided against turning his loan into a permanent move at the end of the season. During his time in Germany, he scored nine goals and provided eight assists in 34 appearances across all competitions. 

Barcelona are interested in signing Guendouzi, a player they believe can develop into a great midfielder who can effectively shield their back four. Coutinho’s agent, Kia Joorabchian, has strong links to Arsenal’s hierarchy and the club’s technical director, Edu Gaspar, has been keen on bringing the Brazilian to the Emirates for a long time now. Arsenal’s name was mentioned as a possible destination for Coutinho last summer before he ended up moving to Germany. 

It is believed that Coutinho wants to play in England next year and that Arsenal have been in touch with his representatives regarding a potential move for months now. Any move for Coutinho to Arsenal is likely to be on loan with an option to buy. Guendouzi on the other hand, would be expected to move to Barcelona on a permanent basis. 

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