Arsenal are in talks with Barcelona over a potential swap deal involving Matteo Guendouzi and Philippe Coutinho, according to Miguel Delaney of the Independent.
The story that the Gunners were interested in making this deal came from Catalan outlet Sport a few days ago, while reports elsewhere claimed that they had an offer of €25 million plus Guendouzi for the services of Thomas Partey rejected by Atletico Madrid.
Now, Atletico may be resolute on keeping the 27-year-old Ghana international at the Wanda Metropolitano, but Barcelona seem quite desperate to offload Coutinho. The Brazilian thoroughly failed to live up to the expectations following his £142 million move from Liverpool in January 2018, and spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Bayern Munich after which the Bundesliga champions refused to trigger the option to buy included in the deal. He is now set to return to the Camp Nou, where he still doesn’t have a place in the team.
We’ve seen Coutinho play in the Premier League and there’s practically nothing to say against his vast quality. An extremely gifted player, he is a fantastic dribbler with a great eye for a pass, and his goals for Liverpool were mostly spectacular.
This move seemed unlikely at the first mention, but it seems something might actually be happening on that front. Miguel Delaney, though sometimes criticized for some of his views on the game, has never been one to just make stuff up as he goes along in his daily work as a journalist.
Apparently, there is a suggestion currently being discussed, which if agreed to, would see Guendouzi leave the Emirates taking a notional fee of £9 million with him to Camp Nou, and Coutinho arrive on a permanent basis. If it is indeed possible to complete such a deal, as well as agree personal terms with the 28-year-old playmaker, there hardly seems to be any reason not to.
Delaney also says Coutinho’s services have been offered to Tottenham Hotspur as well, but a move to Arsenal is the likelier to happen by far at the moment.