Arsenal ‘offered chance’ to sign cut-price Coutinho in Guendouzi swap deal – Independent

Reports in the English media today suggest that Arsenal could land Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona this summer, with Matteo Guendouzi heading in the opposite direction.

Coutinho’s struggles

Brazilian international Coutinho departed Liverpool for Spanish giants Barca in January of 2018.

The Blaugrana splashed out a reported £142 million on the attack-minded midfielder’s signature, in what, at the time, was viewed as a major coup.

As has been widely-documented, however, Barcelona have not exactly reaped the rewards of their massive outlay over the years since.

Coutinho largely struggled to replicate his previous brilliance during his time in Catalunya, looking uncharacteristically bereft of confidence when donning the colours of the La Liga champions.

This eventually resulted in those in charge at the Camp Nou coming to the decision to cut their losses last summer, when the 28-year-old made the move to German powerhouse Bayern Munich on loan for the 2019/20 campaign.

LEIPZIG, GERMANY – SEPREMBER 14: Philippe Coutinho of Bayern Muenchen looks on during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and Bayern Muenchen at Red Bull Arena on September 14, 2019 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

Coutinho’s time in Bavaria, though, has since also proven largely underwhelming.

In fact, the former Inter Milan starlet managed starts in just 15 of Bayern’s 34 league outings this season.

And, if the latest comments on the part of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge are anything to go by, it appears altogether unlikely that Coutinho will still be on the books of the German giants come the start of next season.

Speaking in a recent interview with Der Spiegel, Bayern chairman Rummenigge confirmed that the club’s option to purchase their on-loan creator has expired:

‘The option expired and we haven’t activated it.’

‘We’re going to plan our squad for next season and we’ll see if he still has a role to play with us or not.’

Arsenal bound?

As such, Coutinho’s future, at present, remains completely up in the air.

Such uncertainty, in turn, has resulted in widespread speculation of late that a Premier League return could be on the cards for the Brazilian.

The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and even Leicester City have all been named as potential destinations for Coutinho in recent months.

The outfit by far most persistently linked, though, have been Arsenal.

With Mesut Ozil completely out of favour at the Emirates, Coutinho is seemingly viewed as the ideal creative addition to Mikel Arteta’s midfield.

The one major stumbling block in any deal, however, is of course the potential fee involved.

Despite his struggles at the Camp Nou, Barcelona are nevertheless expected to demand a premium sum for their out-of-favour attacker, with Arsenal’s difficult financial situation common knowledge.

But, as outlined above, a compromise could be in the offing, whereby the Gunners will not be forced to dip too deep into their summer funds.

As per a report from Miguel Delaney of the Independent, Arsenal have indeed been offered the chance to land Coutinho, with Arteta’s outfit currently leading north London rivals Spurs in the race for his signature.

It is also suggested that a swap deal has been proposed, which would see the Brazilian make the move to the Emirates, with Matteo Guendouzi heading in the opposite direction.

French youngster Guendouzi, much like the aforementioned Ozil, has of course also been frozen out by Mikel Arteta of late, making a proposition which would see the club rid themselves of his services, whilst landing a key target, highly appealing for Arsenal.

Somewhat surprisingly, Delaney also suggests that the capital giants would need to part with just £9 million, on top of Guendouzi, to push through a permanent deal for Coutinho.

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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