Philippe Coutinho has accepted that he must leave Barcelona in the coming weeks and is believed to favor a loan to Arsenal.
The 29-year-old has made 16 appearances in all competitions this season, but he has fought for minutes under the new manager Xavi and has ended up behind a whole series of academy graduates in the hack order.
Ferran Jutgla and Ez Abde are the latest players to emerge as obstacles for Coutinho, joining Memphis Depay, Martin Braithwaite, Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati, Gavi and new signing Ferran Torres.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Coutinho realizes that his chances of playing, which are already small, will only decrease when the group is fully fit. He still has hopes of going to the World Cup 2022 and realizes that it is unlikely that he will join Brazil’s squad as it looks.
Coutinho, who is a 63-year-old international, has not played for his country in over 12 months, with injuries and a lack of form that have seen him fall according to Tite’s estimates.
When it comes to suitors, Newcastle United have been aggressive in the search for Coutinho, but the player himself has no interest in moving to St James’ Park either on loan or permanently.
Sport notes that Coutinho’s agents are working on three potential managements: Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton.
Although talks with the trio are far from advanced, Coutinho and his representatives have made it clear that they would prefer a move to Arsenal.
His agents offered Coutinho’s services to Arsenal earlier this month and the Gunners were initially unconvinced, although their interest has been aroused by proposals that Barcelona will subsidize his salaries to seal an exit.
Despite that, manager Mikel Arteta will be reluctant to change his forward line too much. Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard have all impressed in recent weeks, with Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe also pulling back.
A series of eight victories from their last 11 Premier League matches has led Arsenal up to fourth place in the Premier League table, although Tottenham could overtake them if they win their two matches in hand.
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