What would the weekend be without a transfer rumour surrounding Arsenal?
The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting hiatus on football has left any transfer activity even more difficult to predict. Money is tight, income is restricted and we have no idea if a window will even transpire, much less who can afford to purchase what players.
One thing that is obvious though, is that the frequency of loan deals will be on the sharp rise. Permanent fees will just be unreachable for the majority, especially for the higher profile players, but loan deals will give clubs time to recoup some losses, gain some ground on the balance sheet and perhaps claw some height back into that income chart.
And when it comes to high-profile players, Philippe Coutinho is in that category.
The former Liverpool man has been linked with a loan move to Arsenal, after current loan club, Bayern Munich, opted not to act on their clause to buy or extend the deal, meaning the Brazilian will be on his way back to parent club Barcelona – where he is not wanted.
Coutinho not too long ago was hot property. At Liverpool, his rasping shot and ability to create openings was wanted across Europe. The Brazilian opted for Barca rather than stay at Liverpool – wonder if he regrets that now? – but his dream move has been far from heavenly.
Poor form, played out of position and intermittent injuries curtailed his ability to cement a place down at the Catalan giants. It led to a loan move this season, but Bayern have not been impressed by Coutinho, and his loan spell will end at the end of this season despite plenty of opportunity for the Germans to keep him for longer.
Reportedly, Mikel Arteta is a big fan and there have been talks already between the club and the player’s agent, Kia Joorabchian. Preliminary talks, perhaps, but it could be the smoke that leads to us signing a Premier League-proven player.
While he hasn’t has the best of recent times, Coutinho would certainly add some excitement to the team.
Would he be a welcome addition to the team for you?