‘It’s his decision’ – Philippe Coutinho transfer backed amid Tottenham and Arsenal talks


Philippe Coutinho looks set to leave Barcelona to return to the Premier League before the transfer window for English clubs shuts at 5pm tomorrow.

The Brazilian’s 18-month spell with the Catalan giants has proven unsuccessful since an £142million switch from Liverpool.

Coutinho has failed to truly assert himself either in a left-wing role in the front three or as a central midfielder at the Nou Camp, despite having previously dazzled for the Reds, where he was known as ‘The Magician’ by his team-mates.

Barcelona are believed to have offered the play-maker on loan to clubs, with Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham among those asked if they want to sign the player.

The La Liga champions reportedly want a £21m loan fee to send out Coutinho and would be willing to include an option to buy the player permanently in any deal.

It is thought Tottenham are the most likely destination for the former Liverpool star, who supplied 41 goals and 35 assists in 152 league appearances at Anfield.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino worked with Coutinho at Espanyol earlier in the No 10’s career, with the 27-year-old producing five goals in 16 games in a productive six-month stint.

Sky Sports claim that Pochettino has personally phoned Coutinho to plead with him to join the north London club.

And while Spanish centre-back Pique would prefer the attacking midfielder to stay in Catalonia, he admits he wants to see Coutinho make a decision that is best for him.

“I don’t know,” Pique said when asked about what is happening with the Brazil international. 

“I would like him to stay here. I want to see him happy. These are the last few days for transfers. 

“I want him to be happy, it’s his decision.”

Manchester United’s talks with Spurs for Christian Eriksen are thought to have ended, however, in developments which may affect their interest in Coutinho.

It was thought the Dane could leave for United but he prefers a switch to Spain to join Real Madrid, even though Los Blancos have shown no indication they will move for him before September 2.

Whether Spurs want to bring Coutinho in alongside Eriksen remains to be seen, particularly given they are also in talks with Juventus for Paulo Dybala.

A fee of in the region of £65million is believed to have been agreed although Spurs have some work to do if they are to convince the Argentine play-maker, who rejected a move to Manchester United, to leave the Italian champions.

Although United have pulled out of talks for Eriksen, the Evening Standard say they have no interest in signing Coutinho despite being offered the two-time Liverpool Player of the Year.


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