Arsenal have held talks over a potential transfer deal for Barcelona flop Philippe Coutinho, but have set some key conditions for the move to go through.
As has been widely reported, Barca have offered Coutinho to Arsenal and other clubs, including their Premier League rivals Chelsea and Tottenham as they look to offload the struggling Brazilian this summer.
However, Arsenal are only willing to take Coutinho on loan rather than pay something in the region of £70million to sign him permanently, CaughtOffside understands.
On top of that, the Gunners would require Barcelona to continue paying a substantial chunk of the 27-year-old’s £250,000-a-week wages, which is currently well outside of their price range.
It has been claimed that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is a big fan of Coutinho, but CaughtOffside understands he’s not the Spaniard’s only target for that area of the pitch.
Arteta is well aware that he needs a replacement for Mesut Ozil in that number ten role, but a source told CaughtOffside that the club accept the Coutinho deal could be “a non-starter” unless the precise terms of the agreement are right.
Coutinho shone in the Premier League during his time at Liverpool but has struggled badly since leaving Anfield, and it remains to be seen now if he can get back to his best.
Bayern Munich have had Coutinho on loan this season but have decided not to keep him as he’s not made much of an impact, and Barcelona may now struggle to find a buyer.
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It remains to be seen if the Catalan giants would consider loaning Coutinho to Arsenal, but they too are unlikely to want to carry on paying his high wages.
All clubs are likely to feel the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and Barca are widely expected to embark upon a major clear-out this summer to help them through the difficult situation.