Philippe Coutinho has reportedly been offered to Arsenal on loan as the player seeks a return to the Premier League.
The Brazilian joined Barcelona from Liverpool in 2018 for an eye-watering fee that came close to £150m when all the various clauses were added up, but was soon considered surplus to requirements at the Camp Nou.
He spent last season on loan with Bayern Munich, making 34 appearances with a return of 9 goals and 8 assists.
Now, his future is up in the air again, and via a journalist who does seem to have some consistent information on players related to Kia Joorabchian – Coutinho’s agent – comes a report which says the 28 year old has been offered to English clubs, the most recent of which are Arsenal and Newcastle (still awaiting that influx of sweet, sweet oil money).
It’s easy to see how a connection to the Gunners would work. Joorabchian also represents current squad members David Luiz and Cedric Soares. He has had a long-standing working relationship with our Technical Director, Edu, and is close to the club’s Head of Football, Raul Sanllehi. He was even seen watching a game this season with both of them in the Arsenal Director’s Box.
Earlier this summer, Joorabchian said of Coutinho, “He has the desire to return to the Premier League at any point.
“It could be this year. We don’t know.”
Barcelona are reportedly keen to move him on permanently, but are open to another loan move to lighten the load on their own wage bill.
Whether Arsenal can afford to pay what Coutinho would want, and the various fees that accompany loan deals these days, remains to be seen, but given the various connections, it’s not one you could easily rule out. Bayern paid an €8.5m loan fee for his services, plus paid his entire salary for the season.
Earlier, Mikel Arteta spoke about recruitment, and praised Liverpool for the way they brought in the players that Jurgen Klopp needed.
Touching on the way they rebuilt, he said, “Obviously the first two years it took them some time to rebuild the squad and to create a new culture, a new philosophy, and a game model which suited the coach.
“Then they started to recruit every single player in relation to what they needed and that’s where I think they were really smart, because they bought a specificity in every position that was required to get strong.”
Whether Coutinho is a player who fits Arteta’s needs is open for debate, but we do have a lack of midfield creativity, Mesut Ozil remains sidelined with the manager saying nothing has changed with regards to his situation, and he might be someone who could offer something during this part of the process.
The question is whether the outlay required would be the best use of what appear to be increasingly limited transfer resources.