Barcelona manager, Quique Setien, has dealt Arsenal a transfer blow by opening the door for Philippe Coutinho to revive his Barcelona career.
The Brazilian joined Barcelona for a record fee in 2018, but he has remained unsettled at the Catalan side.
He is on loan at Bayern Munich but he may have to look for another home at the end of the season after the Germans declined to make his loan deal permanent.
Arsenal has made him a summer target as they look for more creativity. Reports earlier this week even made it look easy for the Gunners with claims that Barcelona would entertain another loan move for the Brazilian.
However, Setien was speaking to Spanish radio station Rac1, and he insisted that he liked the Brazilian and he also opened the door for the former Inter Milan man to be at the club when next season begins.
“Coutinho? I like him very much,” the 61-year-old told RAC 1 . “He is still a Barcelona player. You have to pay the clause or a transfer fee to Barca.
“I think he can be here at the beginning of next season. I don’t know if he wants to come back or go away again, I have to talk to him to ask him. He is a great player, no doubt.”
Well, that does seem to be a positive message for Coutinho and that is not good news for Arsenal, especially when there was hope that the former Liverpool ace might be available at a cut-price.