There has been huge speculation recently, linking attacking Brazilian midfielder, Philippe Coutinho, and Arsenal football club over the recent days but given that Raul Sanllehi has already spoken about a quiet transfer window, it would, on the face of it, seem extremely unlikely.
Even if the player wanted to leave Barcelona, would Arsenal even be able to afford the flights to begin negotiations, let alone the fee and wages? Well, a deal could still theoretically be done for a number of reasons, all of which aren’t exactly straightforward but let’s discuss them anyway.
Kia Joorabchian is Coutinho’s agent and an avid Arsenal fan with open links to those at the club. Discussions could be made quite easily without any travel involved making the entire process easier in these difficult times. That in itself isn’t exactly an assured sign that the player is about to head to North London because Joorabchian has extremely good links to a host of high profile clubs.
So what would work for Arsenal?
Rumours suggest that Barcelona would prefer a straight sale but they would consider a swap for a high profile, proven striker. You can see where this is going straight away.
Aubameyang would probably be the only way a straight deal could be done with perhaps some caveats involving cash. Although this suggestion will prove unpopular with some fans, it’s better to do things this way than end up empty-handed at the end of next season.
The other options :
A loan isn’t out of the question and appears to be the Gunners’ preferred transfer business model these days. It hasn’t been without its problems and they have yet to secure a loan that benefits club or player.
Let’s assume a loan agreement is suitable to all parties and that it’s for a season. Arsenal will want a purchase option because the club could find significant sums of cash over the next 18 months through sales, advertising, and additional revenues. They could also sell off some players to reduce the wage bill and bring in additional funds. There are a few contenders for the exit.
Is Coutinho’s arrival likely?
Yes, it is a distinct possibility in all the ways I’ve discussed, but there will have to be some honest discussion between both clubs and Philippe Coutinho. Barcelona can’t expect the fee that might have been possible Pre-Corona virus.
In that respect, Arsenal as the buying club would find favourable terms in this deal which could be paid in staggered installments over the length of the player’s contract which would probably be four seasons.
Arteta is said to be extremely keen on adding the Brazilian to the heart of his team but the Spanish club are adamant that any loan would include the player’s complete wages, which are an eye-watering £250,000 per week non-negotiable.
That could alter the game from an Arsenal perspective with the club feverishly trying to lower its wage bill, but Arteta is said to be very excited about working with the Barcelona failure.
Someone who doesn’t appear to be a fan is Stan Collymore. When it was rumoured that Frank Lampard was interested in Philippe Coutinho, the former Liverpool man said:
“In 90 percent of matches he actually offers very little in terms of taking a game by the scruff of its neck – he’s a flat-track bully, the player who scores a couple of wonder goals in a 5-0 rout when most of the work has been done”
“While Liverpool fans liked him for his ability to score a worldie or produce a moment of magic, many knew he was an icing-on-the-cake player.”
“I remember when talk first surfaced of him leaving Anfield, the figures being mooted were £50-£60million and I put a poll on Twitter asking fans if they would let him go for that.”
“The overwhelming majority of those who responded said they would — and plenty added the classic, ‘I’ll drive him to John Lennon Airport for that.”
So, he’s another Ozil without the goals. On hearing that Arsenal had shown an interest, he said:
“He’d fit in well at the Emirates with the rest of the nice, soft and cuddly Gunners, who have less bite than my 89-year-old mum with her teeth out.”
That’s his opinion, but Arteta seems to think he can get the best out of him, just as Klopp did at Liverpool and if he thinks that’s possible, I’m inclined to agree with him. Let’s see if the Arsenal board supports him.
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