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Arsenal in pole position to beat Chelsea to £104m-rated star in potential swap transfer

Arsenal are reportedly now in pole position to win the transfer race for Barcelona misfit Philippe Coutinho.

This is because the Gunners could include exciting young forward Gabriel Martinelli as part of any deal to beat Chelsea to the former Liverpool man, according to Don Balon.

MORE: Approach made: Manchester United battle Euro giants for potential £43.5m transfer of Arsenal star

The Spanish outlet state that Coutinho has an asking price of around £104million, but one imagines the inclusion of Martinelli in the deal would bring that fee down.

Don Balon claim Barcelona are keen on taking advantage of Arsenal’s interest in Coutinho to try and get Martinelli, who has enjoyed an outstanding first season at the Emirates Stadium.

The talented 18-year-old looks to have a big future at the highest level, and in truth many Arsenal fans might be unsure about this deal.

Coutinho Bayern

Philippe Coutinho is being linked with Arsenal and Chelsea

Coutinho has flopped at Barca and on loan at Bayern Munich this season, so it might not really be worth trying to win the race for the 27-year-old at this point.

Martinelli, meanwhile, surely has his best years ahead of him and looks a talent AFC should be trying to keep hold of.

Of course, it’s hard to turn down a big name like Coutinho, who has shown what he can do in the Premier League after so many dazzling performances during his spell at Anfield.

Chelsea are also mentioned by Don Balon, and it seems clear the Blues could do with taking a gamble on a player of this kind as he could be an ideal replacement for Eden Hazard if he can get back to his best with a return to England.

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