August 06, 2019
Arsenal are prioritising a deal for a central defender despite Philippe Coutinho’s representatives contacting the club to see whether they would be interested in signing the Brazilian on loan for the upcoming season.
Arsenal focused on signing defender despite offer of Philippe Coutinho loan
Coutinho is open to leaving Barcelona this summer after a stop-start first 18 months at the club and Giuliano Bertolucci and Kia Joorabchian are looking at potential suitors and have approached Arsenal to see whether they are interested.
However, the Premier League club have told them that at the moment their focus is on securing a central defender. The club captain, Laurent Koscielny, joined Bordeaux for a fee of €5m (4.6m) on Tuesday and the manager, Unai Emery, is looking to strengthen his defence.
Emery is likely to start the Premier League season with Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Calum Chambers as a centre-back pairing at Newcastle on Sunday. He also has Shkodran Mustafi available although Arsenal are open to offers for the World Cup winner. Rob Holding, meanwhile, is continuing his recovery from a long-term injury.
Arsenal are interested in RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Juventus’ Daniele Rugani but are not close to agreeing a fee for either player. The Bundesliga club want £70m for the 20-year-old Frenchman while Juve have quoted Arsenal £50m for the 25-year-old Italian international.
There has been no contact between Arsenal and Barcelona regarding a potential loan deal for Coutinho at this point but both sides are keeping their options open with only 48 hours left of the transfer window.
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