The rumblings that suggested Phillipe Coutinho might find his way into Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side were astronomically optimistic.
The connections between the former head of football Raul Sanllehi, super agent Kia Joorabchian and Sanllehi’s former club Barcelona made for interesting reading but were the board at Barcelona ever considering a loan deal for a player who cost £142m?
What sort of terms would Arsenal have to agree to deliver some form of return on that type of outlay? Not very favourable ones I suspect, in a deal that tended to look good for everyone except the club.
No doubt, Joorabchian would have made a decent commission, he usually does. Sanllehi, whom it appears was at the centre of several inflated deals, may have benefited in some way and of course, Philippe Coutinho himself would have picked up a tidy wage.
However, if you take into account his recent showings for Bayern Munich, the proposed deal may just have evaporated into the ether. Moreover, the Brazilian is set for a return to Camp Nou after newly appointed Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman called him to tell him that the playmaker is part of his plans next season, according to Mundo Deportivo, as per Daily Mail.
Quite frankly, I may be wrong but the figures don’t make sense, and if he came, wouldn’t we have another Ceballos situation on our hands. More players playing for the club that aren’t ours and are not assets in a transfer sense. Players that could technically treat it as a way of getting game time for the same wages without accepting responsibility for any success or failure.
If Arsenal are serious about competing again, they need personnel who are onboard for a three-year project, not as part of a cameo role that precipitated a better deal elsewhere.
If he does come, I’ll do an entire blog by way of an apology to Phillipe Coutinho and the reading fans, incorporating why I lacked the good sense to see how this deal could ever be made with the current money problems at Arsenal. Don’t hold your breath.