Philippe Coutinho set for Arse...


Philippe Coutinho set for Arsenal loan from Barcelona

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Philippe Coutinho is reportedly close to a Premier League return with Arsenal. 

The Brazilian playmaker is surplus to requirements at Barcelona, especially with the Catalan giants hoping to land Neymar in this transfer window.

According to l'Équipe, Coutinho will join Arsenal on a season-long loan deal.

Coutinho joined Barcelona from Liverpool in January of 2018 for an initial fee of £105m, which could rise to £142m depending on certain bonuses. His contract runs until June of 2023, but the 27-year old has been increasingly unsettled at the Camp Nou in recent months.

The Gunners will need to get the deal done before 5pm on Thursday when the transfer window closes.

Arsenal lost 2-1 to Barcelona on Sunday, when head coach Unai Emery seemed to be unaware - or unwilling to share - that a deal for Coutinho was impending, "We’ve never talked about Coutinho. He’s a splendid player, but we haven’t talked about Coutinho at any time". Coutinho was an unused substitute in that game.

With Barcelona still hopeful of securing Neymar's return from Paris Saint-Germain, the La Liga champions need to trim their wage bill. They've already added Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie De Jong, Neto and Junior Firpo to their squad ahead of the new season.

Coutinho's time at Barcelona has been far from disastrous in terms of numbers alone, with 21 goals being scored in 76 appearances.

However, the sense he has never realised his full potential under Ernesto Valverde remains. Coutinho often attracted loud criticism from the Camp Nou faithful. That criticism was at its loudest when Coutinho put his fingers in his ears to the home crowd after scoring against Manchester United in last season's Champions League quarter-finals.

The signing of Coutinho would give Arsenal something of a lopsided look heading into the 2019-20 Premier League season. They've already paid a club-record €80m to Lille for Nicolas Pépé, as well as securing the loan-signing from Real Madrid of Dani Ceballos. They've been added to a final third that already includes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alexi Iwobi and others.

Arsenal's Premier League season begins away to Newcastle on Sunday August 11.



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Arsenal Barcelona Neymar PSG Paris Saint Germain Philippe Coutinho Premier League Transfers Unai Emery

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