Arsenal ‘seem willing’ to make a move for Philippe Coutinho this summer, with Mikel Arteta convinced he can help the Gunners compete at the top of the table, according to claims from Spain.
Coutinho is set to return to Barcelona this summer after Bayern Munich, where he’s currently on loan, decided not to take up an option to sign him permanently.
The likelihood of him remaining at Barcelona is low, with them keen to sell and the midfielder heavily linked with a move to the Premier League.
They say that Barcelona ‘hope’ they can recover some of the money they sent to Arsenal down the years signing the likes of Marc Overmars, Cesc Fábregas, Thierry Henry and several others for big fees, by selling them Coutinho.
Gunners boss Arteta has ‘already confirmed’ that he wants the Brazilian for next season and he would be a ‘fundamental pillar’ in his team.
Barcelona are keen to sell to get his big wages off the books and allow them to make signings such as Lautaro Martínez and Miralem Pjanic.
They are still waiting for an ‘official call’ from Arsenal to start negotiating a deal, although their asking price of €80m may be an ‘impediment’ for the Gunners.
Despite that, they are ‘willing to make an effort’ for Coutinho as Arteta is convinced the midfielder can rediscover his form and ‘lead’ Arsenal to compete against Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
The belief is that his style would fits Arsenal and Arteta ‘perfectly’.
However, it seems the two sides will have to go through some serious and difficult negotiations to find an agreement on asking price, with them likely to be very, very apart in that regard.