Contrary to previous claims from some sport outlets where it was reported that both Arsenal and Barcelona are considering to make a swap deal, a move that will see Matteo Guendouzi move to Nou Camp and Philippe Coutinho going to the opposite direction.
As per the latest from Catalan radio station RAC 1, it was disclosed that Arsenal and Barcelona are sorting out a possible loan deal for Coutinho, which would see both clubs share the huge financial burden of the player’s wages.
Though Arsenal’s youngster Matteo Guendouzi looks to be closer to Arsenal’s exit door but being included in a swap deal for Coutinho’s signing has been rebuffed. Philippe Coutinho’s career since joining Barcelona hasn’t been consistent nor filled with the fan fare which the fans had earlier envisaged.
He joined Barcelona during the winter transfer window in 2018, for a club record fee that’s worth €160million, making him the world’s second most expensive player.
He is known to be an archetypical Brazilian number 10 advanced playmaker, who can seamlessly operates as an attacking midfielder, second striker, central midfielder and could as well play from the wings (especially cutting in from the left side), where he could curl in a long range shot, which has being his trademark goal.
Upon joining the La Liga giant, he took no time to settle down and established himself as a key performer in a season which culminated with Barcelona being crowned the league champions and also won the Copa del Rey. He accomplished his best ever professional season in terms of goal contributions in that same period by scoring 22 goals and providing 14 assists in 42 games played for both Liverpool and Barcelona in the same campaign.
Unfortunately, his best form couldn’t be replicated in the following season, his drop in form led to a poor run of games and his inability to reclaim a starting berth, resulted in a loan move away from Camp Nou and joined Bundesliga side Bayern Munich on a season long loan deal ahead of 2019/2020 season. An option to make his loan move permanent after a season of satisfaction with the Bundesliga side was inserted in the contract but due to his continued inability to prove his consistency on a regular basis conjoined with his high wage demand led to the club refusing to make his loan deal permanent.
Though he hasn’t been short of suitors but his high wage has placed his career in a precarious situation, making it difficult to conclude a genuine deal.
With the unfortunate pandemic crisis event that has made a lot of clubs to be financially handicapped, it has made it more difficult for Coutinho’s high transfer valuation and wage demand to be met. This has led to a loan option for his signature to be considered rather than an instant permanent deal.
Arsenal are facing the possibility of missing out on European competition next season if they fail to qualify for the Europa league, which will be determined by their last option of an FA Cup victory against London rival Chelsea on Saturday evening at the Wembley stadium.
The financial implications if the Gunners fail to win the FA Cup might dash their hope of having enough funds to make their priority signings.
Nevertheless, with the possibility of some outgoings, especially those being reported to have been placed on transfer list such as Sokratis, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Elneny, Maitland-Niles and Guendouzi, Arsenal can still realise some funds from their sale and get some of their summer targets.
Notwithstanding, a loan move for Coutinho seems to be closer than other reported targets as per Barcelona’s willingness to share his wage bill with the Gunners.