According to a recent report by Sky Sports, Barcelona are interested in signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Arsenal, and given their extremely difficult financial situation, they are willing to offer Phillipe Coutinho in exchange for the Gabonese.
The fact that Arsenal are trying to sign a creative attacking midfielder, which what Coutinho unquestionably is, cannot be hidden. The Gunners’ interest in Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard and Leicester City’s James Maddison has been reported on for months now.
However, is Coutinho the answer? The former Liverpool playmaker is 29, and though he boasts considerable Premier League experience and quality proven in the English top flight, he is five years older than Maddison and seven than Odegaard.
Further more, it doesn’t really make sense for Arsenal to sign an attacking midfielder if that means losing their arguably best forward. Despite all the criticism following the renewal of his contract last year, Aubameyang scored 15 goals in all competitions in 2020-21, and the woeful season the team had would most likely have been far worse, if it wasn’t for him.
The reasons for the 32-year-old himself to want to join Barcelona at the moment are also up for debate, despite Arsenal being far from where they should be as well. The Catalan club are in a crisis the likes of which hasn’t been seen in recent memory, having just lost Lionel Messi and facing issues about registering the players they did sign. President Joan Laporta has revealed that their debt amounts to €1.35 billion. It looks like it will be a long time before they are a force to be reckoned with in European football again, and time doesn’t work in Aubameyang’s favour in this stage of his career.
Meanwhile, talks between Arsenal and Real Madrid about Odegaard have reportedly started again, and the Norwegian is open to returning to the place where he spent the second half of last season on loan.
With all that in mind, it hardly makes sense for the Gunners to give serious consideration to the possibility of giving Aubameyang up in favour of Coutinho.