Arsenal enter race for Barcelona ace Philippe Coutinho amidst Tottenham Hotspur interest
According to the Spanish media source Sport (h/t The Sun), Arsenal have entered themselves into the race to sign Barcelona ace Philippe Coutinho amidst interest from Tottenham Hotspur for a future transfer. He is in line to leave Camp Nou permanently in the summer transfer window after kick-starting his career once again in the Premier League.
Barca had facilitated a loan move for Coutinho back in January that saw him team up with Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa. Villa have the option to sign him permanently for a fee of £33million at the end of the current season. That being said, there are fears about his mindblowing £25million-a-year wages that they would have to deal with from next term onwards.
Now, the Gunners have entered the fray, with Tottenham also keeping tabs on the situation. Mikel Arteta has also been closely monitoring the Brazilian at Villa since the loan move prompted him to take this stance. The North London rivals are willing to match the optional clause and would look to potentially use Champions League football as an incentive to make their case.
Arsenal to pose a problem?
Even with Arteta’s side showing an interest in the former Liverpool man, our focus would no doubt be on the Lions to see if they would activate the buy option. After all, we would be helpless if they trigger the clause next summer. However, his wages could cause trouble for them, but unfortunately, Gerrard has already asked the board to purchase him permanently.
As such, we are forced to wait and see how that would turn out and whether a move can be feasible for them after this campaign. But if there is a chance for us to prise the 29-year-old midfielder away from the competition, we should do just that next summer. After all, the attacking midfielder has proven that he can still play at the top level looking at how good he has been on loan so far.
That being said, we must be wary of our bitter rivals since they had targeted the Blaugrana star in January. However, they eventually ended their loan interest due to their doubts about him. However, that has now passed, causing them to re-enter the transfer race. West Ham United are also in the mix as they try to back David Moyes’ to continue their rise to the top.
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The Catalans remain keen to sell their loan star permanently by June 30 to balance their books for doing business in the summer transfer window. Perhaps that could be a hint at the expiry date of the clause, as they could try to move the midfielder out elsewhere past that date.
After all, that can certainly be considered as a possibility since they are willing to entertain offers from other interested parties. Coutinho would be a great prospect to add to our squad, but we are forced to play the waiting game to see if Villa would trigger the clause or not. Let’s hope that will not be the case so that we can try our cards to finalise a move for him after this term.