Top Premier League clubs fight for Coutinho’s signature
Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton are ready to kick 2022 off by doing battle for Barcelona flop, Philippe Coutinho.
Former Liverpool star, Coutinho, now 29, has made only five starts in LaLiga this term and is ready to call time on his frustrating four-year stint at the Camp Nou.
The Brazilian is the Blaugrana’s top earner on a whopping £370,000-per-week and Barca’s recent acquisition of Ferran Torres from Manchester City has only further enhanced the need to move him on.
El Nacional say that Spurs were the first club to make direct contact about a move with their boss Antonio Conte an admirer of the playmaker.
The Italian knows that the Catalonians need to sell and believes no fee should be required to make a deal happen.
However, Barca president Joan Laporta intends to recoup at least £16m from any departure, which may hand the advantage to Everton and Arsenal instead.
The Toffees have had a disappointing campaign to date and have started January by adding Ukranian international full back Vitaliy Mykolenko to their ranks.
More deals look likely as Rafa Benitez goes about turning their fortunes around and a glut of injuries in forward areas have left them lacking a creative spark in recent weeks.
Should they pursue a deal for Coutinho, location is certainly in their favour with the midfielder having enjoyed five happy years living in Merseyside when starring for local rivals, Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s improvement under Mikel Arteta has been impressive in recent months and the Gunners are firmly in the top four race.
Reports suggest that Arteta has given the green light for Gunners officials to enquire about Coutinho’s availability and the requested fee will not be a stumbling block.
Coutinho recently rejected a proposed loan move to Newcastle because of the Toon’s lowly league position, which hints that Arsenal may be the club in pole position for his signature.