According to multiple reports, Arsenal are keen to sign Philippe Coutinho this summer on an affordable one-year loan deal from Barcelona.

MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 05: Philippe Coutinho of FC Bayern Muenchen looks on during the DFB Cup round of sixteen match between FC Bayern Muenchen and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Allianz Arena on February 05, 2020, in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY: Philippe Coutinho of FC Bayern Munich looks on during the DFB Cup on February 05, 2020. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

A number of English publications are pushing a possible Arsenal move for Philippe Coutinho as we head into our first proper week of the transfer window following the FA Cup final.

Given the numbers being mentioned, it could be a very affordable move for Arsenal that would, if it helped return them to the Champions League, pay for itself. It’s certainly not the ridiculous sorts of figures we’ve seen previously when Coutinho has been mentioned.

The Times claim Mikel Arteta is keen to sign Coutinho to play in a 4-3-3 system next season.

Goal add that Barcelona are hoping to strike a deal with Arsenal, likely on a loan basis.

The Daily Mail report that Coutinho is very likely to return to the Premier League, and Arsenal are after him, but it’s just the cost of the deal that could prove problematic.

Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho

The Evening Standard write that the cost is around £9m as a loan fee, plus half of the player’s £240,000-a-week wages. So that’s close to £15m in total for the season.

Barcelona only charged Bayern Munich an €8.5m loan fee, but Arsenal could well be looking at the creative hole in the middle of their team and wondering how they can fill it to Champions League standard for less than a £9m fee.

The amount of noise around this suggests there’s at least something in it. Even if it’s just Kia Joorabchian using Arsenal’s interest to market his client to other Premier League teams. We’ve already discussed his growing links with the club.

A loan deal would be a good move for Arsenal and, as mentioned, if it helped them claim a top four place then it’s certainly worth £9m plus wages. To buy a player outright would cost more and Arsenal’s cash situation calls for creativity in their recruitment as well as their squad.

Coutinho would add goals and assists from midfield, as well as some creativity and flair. There would also be no need for a settling in period, which would be crucial.

If it allows Arteta to play the formation he wants, obviously, we should back him on that.

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