Arsenal lining up Coutinho move this summer

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Arsenal are lining up their summer business.

Mikel Arteta’s men have struggled throughout the 2019/20 season and have roundly failed to place themselves in the European picture.

Indeed, their 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa, a relegation-threatened outfit, in midweek has confirmed that they cannot finish higher than eighth, though to do that, they would need other results to go their way.

Their final match of the season, against Watford, perhaps means more to the Hornets then, as they look to avoid relegation.

The defeat to Villa came at a difficult time, following statement wins over the top two clubs in the league, Liverpool, in the top-flight, and Manchester City, in the FA Cup.

Still, there is the possibility of entering into the Europa League through a back door, as they are set to play Chelsea in the FA Cup final next month; winning the game would seal qualification.

That would give them a carrot to offer to multiple potential acquisitions and it appears that some targets have already been identified.

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There are clear gaps in the squad and it seems as though an attacking midfielder could be a priority.

Indeed, Arsenal failed to have a single shot on target against Villa, suggesting that they need a playmaker in the transfer window.

Sport Witness carries a report from Mundo Deportivo stating that the north London giants are interested in signing Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona.

Coutinho has spent the season on loan at Bayern Munich, scoring nine goals and registering eight assists in 34 outings in all competitions. He will continue to play for them throughout their Champions League campaign; they face Chelsea in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie next month and hold a 3-0 lead from the first leg.

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The report states that the former Liverpool star wants to return to the Premier League, and Arsenal are said to be showing the “most interest” in securing his signature.

However, they face an uphill battle to be able to afford his wages, so a compromise may have to be reached between the Gunners and Barca.

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

This is an intriguing prospect.

Manager Arteta has shown that he has little faith in Mesut Ozil, handing him just 10 starts in the top-flight.

Indeed, Ozil was left out of the squad altogether against Manchester City and has not played for the club in the league since.

Bringing in a new option, then, who can slot in as a No.10, should be a priority.

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Coutinho is an expensive prospect, but he knows the league and has shown that he can thrive in England.

During his time with Liverpool, he made 201 appearances, scoring 54 goals and registering 45 assists, before his mega-money switch to Barca.

It hasn’t worked out, clearly, and Arsenal bringing him in would give him the option to start writing a new chapter.

To finance the deal, it may have to be a loan; it remains to be seen if the move can be done.

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