Reported Arsenal target Philippe Coutinho has apparently been made available on loan by Barcelona with an obligation to buy next year, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Spanish outlet ABC recently claimed that Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has laid out a plan to make Coutinho 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 in wake of current events, he would be out of most clubs’ budget ranges at present.
As a result, Barca’s plan B is to send Coutinho out on loan for 10million Euro (around £9million), while the remainder of his value will subsequently be covered by the obligation to buy, presumably in the next 12 months.
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.