Reported Arsenal target Philippe Coutinho is “definitely looking” at a prospective Premier League return, according to his agent Kia Joorabchian (talkSPORT).
Spanish outlet ABC recently claimed that Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has laid out a plan to make the Barcelona man an integral player in his side next season.
Coutinho is currently on a season-long loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona, having struggled to impress at the Camp Nou since joining in a £142million deal from Liverpool in January 2018.
As Bayern haven’t taken up the option to buy the 27-year-old, he could now be set for pastures new, particularly given Barca are reported to be in financial difficulties and planning to sell several of their assets to make ends meet.
Mundo Deportivo claims that the Blaugrana would ideally move the Brazilian on for 80million Euro (around £72million), but as a plan B, could send him out on loan for 10million Euro (around £9million), the remainder of his value subsequently being covered by an obligation to buy.
“We’re still waiting until the season finishes before we start talking about anything in terms of transfers,” Joorabchian told talkSPORT on Monday.
“I’ve always said he loved to play in the Premier League, he enjoyed his time at Liverpool very much. If the opportunity arises to come back to the Premier League, whether it be this year or in the future, he’s definitely looking at that.”
Coutinho is a player of the highest calibre who simply doesn’t appear to be the right fit for Barcelona and could soon be moved on, but he has proven quality at the highest level, including in the Premier League.
Arsenal are likely to tighten their purse strings this season in wake of the financial issues caused to the football industry by the global health crisis, and a £72million fee would likely have been too expensive for them this summer.
However, a loan with an obligation to buy may be more within their reach and Coutinho would certainly be the kind of marquee signing that would generate a buzz at the Emirates Stadium – and given he’s eager to play in the Premier League again, it bodes well for the Gunners’ hopes.