Premier League heavyweights Arsenal have reportedly contacted Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho’s entourage over a possible summer move.
According to a report by Spanish publication SPORT, Philippe Coutinho is the subject of interest from Arsenal over a possible move in the summer transfer window. The Gunners want to steal a march on Aston Villa in the race to sign the Brazilian playmaker permanently from Barcelona.
Philippe Coutinho is enjoying a long-awaited resurgence, having resurrected his stuttering career since joining Aston Villa on loan from Barcelona. The 29-year-old’s progress had come to a grinding halt at Camp Nou, as he failed to make his mark under several managers.
But at Aston Villa, Coutinho has been sensational for the most part, amassing four goals and three assists in nine appearances thus far. The Brazilian international’s comeback story could help him be a mainstay for the Brazilian national team heading into the 2022 FIFA World Cup. As for his future at the club level, Arsenal and Aston Villa are keen on signing him permanently from Barcelona.
The interest from Arsenal is somewhat surprising, considering Martin Odegaard has established himself as a pivotal figure at the Emirates. And with Emile Smith Rowe also capable of reprising the no. 10 role, it is hard to fathom how Coutinho could be an option from his favoured role.
But if Mikel Arteta transitions his preferred system from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3, Coutinho could slot in as one of the no. 8s. With Granit Xhaka heavily linked with a possible move to AS Roma, the Barcelona loanee could replace the former Arsenal captain at the Emirates.
But Arsenal will need to fend off competition from Aston Villa. The Villans are keen on exercising their purchase option in their loan deal, with Steven Gerrard recently confirming the same. Aston Villa will have the priority over Arsenal in the race to sign Coutinho from Barcelona due to the buy clause in the contract.
But the north Londoners will not go down without a fight, as they have already established contact with Coutinho’s entourage. For now, what appears to be certain is that the 29-year-old is set to end his horrific stint with Barcelona for good, with a permanent return to the Premier League on the horizon.