Arsenal are currently second favourites to sign Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona

  • Rob Swan

Reports that Arsenal only had £40 million to spend on transfers this summer turned out to be spectacularly wide of the mark.

The Gunners had already spent £33 million on William Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli before smashing their club-record fee to sign Nicolas Pepe from Lille.

The Ivorian winger, who scored 23 goals in 41 games last season, set the Gunners back a cool £72 million – taking the club’s summer expenditure to over the £100 million mark.

The north London outfit have also secured the services of Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid until the end of the 2019/20 campaign.

And with just days remaining before the transfer window closes – it shuts for English clubs on Thursday – it seems Arsenal aren’t done just yet.

Various English newspapers – including The Sun – are citing Spanish sources as reporting that Arsenal are set to hold talks with Barcelona on Sunday as they look to seal a loan deal for Philippe Coutinho.

The Gunners face the Catalan giants in the Joan Gamper trophy at Camp Nou on the same day.

beIN Sport also tweeted on Saturday afternoon: “Arsenal are preparing to start negotiations with Barcelona to sign Brazilian Philippe Coutinho.”

The signing of Coutinho would be a major coup for Arsenal, despite the fact the 27-year-old has flattered to deceive at Barça over the past 18 months.

He was outstanding during his five-year spell with Liverpool, scoring 54 goals in 201 appearances while establishing his status as one of Europe’s best playmakers in the process.

His move to Camp Nou hasn’t worked out and Barça are now looking to offload him.

According to SkyBet, Arsenal are now the second-favourites to sign Coutinho this summer.

Currently priced at 3/1, Unai Emery’s side are only behind favourites Paris Saint-Germain (5/2).

Liverpool are 4/1 third favourites, while Manchester City are outsiders at 11/1.

It seems the bookmakers believe there’s a genuine chance that Coutinho could be on his way to the Emirates Stadium.

An attacking line-up comprised of Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ceballos, Pepe and Coutinho? Just imagine.

Watch this space…

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