Barcelona playmaker Phillippe Coutinho would welcome a move to Arsenal during the ongoing transfer window, Spanish journalist Bruno Alemany claims.
The Brazil international has fallen out-of-favour since the appointment of Xavi Hernandez as manager. He has played just 110 minutes under the Spaniard’s tutelage.
It is now reported that Coutinho wants to ‘leave the club now’ such that he can boost his prospects of playing for the national team at the World Cup later this year.
Speaking to Ser Catalunya’s Què T’hi Jugues, Alemany has said that Arsenal and Newcastle United are both interested in landing the services of the versatile playmaker.
If Coutinho had the choice, ‘he would choose Arsenal’ over the Magpies, who are 19th in the Premier League.
Coutinho was a hugely influential player during his five years at Liverpool. The 29-year-old bagged 41 goals and 37 assists from 152 league appearances for the Merseyside club.
He left them for a big-money move to the Catalan giants in January 2018, but things have not gone as planned. He has played only 108 games, either side of a loan stint at Bayern.
Coutinho is no longer in favour with Xavi backing several La Masia graduates. He appears keen on a Premier League return, and the Gunners could be a possible destination.
The Gunners are going through a fine run of form with Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli starring in attack. Emile Smith Rowe has also excelled off the bench.
There appears no need for another attacker in the squad, given Arteta has hardly used Nicolas Pepe when available.
However, it won’t come as a surprise if the Gunners are indeed interested in Coutinho. Arteta may want to bolster the squad with more experience for the club’s Champions League push.
A permanent deal appears completely off the cards. Any move could be a temporary one with the Gunners potentially paying part of his weekly wages which stand at £367,000-a-week.
Aside from Coutinho, the Gunners have also been linked with his former Liverpool teammate Georginio Wijnaldum.
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