Arsenal are reportedly close to signing Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho on loan for the 2019/20 season.
L’Equipe report via Get French Football Now that the Brazilian international will return to the Premier League for the upcoming season, and that the former Liverpool number 10 is to join Arsenal.
Coutinho moved to Barcelona in the winter of 2018 for a blockbuster deal worth a reported £142 million as reported by BBC Sport.
The Barcelona man was linked with a move to Arsenal last week, with Sport claiming that the Gunners were interested in Coutinho, but, Unai Emery came out in a press conference following a pre-season 2-1 defeat to the Catalan giants and claimed that the reports were not true, and that no discussions have ever taken place (per Squawka News).
However, it appears that there was more in the story than first implied as the reporting from L’Equipe shows, but a move for Coutinho could be a step in the wrong direction for Arsenal with so little time in the transfer window remaining and the club’s desire to sign a centre-back as has been reported by both the Evening Standard and Goal.
Indeed, a move for Coutinho, even on loan, would result in a fee of an estimated £27m as Mundo Deportivo report, and with the recent sale of club captain Laurent Koscielny to Bordeaux finally being confirmed by Arsenal via their official website, there is a vacant centre-back spot that needs addressing in the Gunners squad.
A big-name signing like Coutinho to add to the likes of Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos will certainly be something that surprises the footballing world, but given Arsenal’s current situation in defence, a move for the Brazilian would be rash from the north London side.
Following a season where the Gunners conceded the second-most goals out of any side in the Premier League top-six (per Wikipedia), it appears that improving the defence rather than the attack could be the difference-maker that pushes Arsenal towards finishing in the top-four for the first time since the 2015/16 season.
The Gunners have already spent a club-record fee to bring winger Pepe in from Lille (per BBC Sport), and with Koscielny now gone, bringing in a new centre-back before the end of the window would seemingly be the sensible thing for Arsenal to do rather than sign an extra attacking player in Coutinho.
Arsenal fans, would you take Coutinho this summer on loan? Let us know!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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