Guillem Balague has claimed that Philippe Coutinho is keen on a return to the Premier League this summer, but his current club Barcelona may have other ideas.
The former Liverpool forward has struggled to settle since leaving Liverpool in January of 2018, and is believed to be available for a move again this summer.
The Catalan club are said to be keen to raise funds this summer for a move for either Neymar or Inter’s Martinez, and Coutinho and Dembele are believed to be possible makeweights as they try to land their key targets.
While Balague insists that Coutinho does in fact have his agents working on a move to the Premier League, Barca may well try and offer one or both of the above in order to try and strike a deal for their targets.
When asked if Arsenal could land Coutinho this summer, Balague replied: “Yes and no. Barcelona need to analyse what they can get. To get a striker like Lautaro Martinez, it’s a lot of money involved in that one.
“So they want to swap players. Who is it to say they could use Coutinho in that swap?
“Yes they would like him to move on but at the same time, Quique Setien the manager has said, ‘I would like to work with him.’ They haven’t worked together.
“Barca need quality, that’s quite clear, you can’t put the hope on 17-year-old like Ansu Fati for all the big games now that Luis Suarez is coming back from injury, with Messi rested, with Dembele also back and Griezmann.
“There is a deal with a club that has to take place. Barca wants to sell Coutinho but nobody is going to buy him.
“A deal like a loan deal could happen but it’s always speculation because if they want to renew the squad and buy Martinez, it makes sense to actually give Coutinho to Inter.
“If they want to go for Neymar this transfer window – and it will be an almost impossible situation – perhaps if they say to PSG, ‘How about Dembele and Coutinho?’
“And try to convince PSG – which they won’t be convinced. There’s that situation that we’re dealing with.
“Nothing confirmed. And of course, what Coutinho and his representatives are doing – and that is 100 per cent – is talking to Premier League clubs.
“Coutinho would like to go to the Premier League if he doesn’t stay at Barcelona.
“Barca are thinking, ‘We can use Coutinho to get one of the players that we need.’ So it’s all up in the air.”
I personally have mixed feelings about the possible arrival of the Brazilian, as he has struggled in recent seasons, and is not guaranteed to return to prominence just because he is back in the Premier League, as much as I think that Arteta would do his best with him.
Could Arsenal turn down the chance to sign Coutinho? How much would our club be willing to pay for such a target?