Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho has been tipped to choose Arsenal over other Premier League clubs if a loan from Camp Nou in January should be lost.
Four years after his transfer from Liverpool worth up to 160 million euros, Coutinho has only been a part of players in Barcelona this season. He has only started five times in La Liga, and his prospects are expected to get worse rather than better during the second half of the campaign.
Barça are in desperate need of trimming their salary costs as well, as that is the only way they will be able to afford to invest in the squad in the coming weeks.
SPORT explains that the Catalans understand that a loan is the only option to move Coutinho from the club at this stage of the season. It is said that the club hopes that the player will accept a pay cut to leave and that “optional cut” would be beneficial – the upside is also that good performance when loaned can push up his market value ahead of a permanent transfer this summer.
It is said that Barça have offered Coutinho to Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton and Newcastle. The Gunners were initially “suspicious” when the contact was first made, but the Emirates Stadium has been described as the player and his agent’s preferred choice.
Coutinho knows the Premier League from his time in Liverpool / Jan Kruger / GettyImages
Newcastle are apparently already off the table because Coutinho is not convinced by the sports project currently being offered – the Magpies are involved in a relegation battle.
With Arsenal as their ideal, Barça are said to be willing to “try everything” to release Coutinho before the end of January. Crucially, SPORT adds that the club is “more optimistic” when it comes to an agreement than a few weeks ago.
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