Coutinho’s first choice is Arsenal with ‘Barcelona pushing to make loan happen’

Arsenal is reportedly the preferred destination for out-of-favour Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho to join in the January transfer window.

The 29-year-old has been dropped to the fringes of Barcelona’s squad for a number of seasons now and is looking for a loan move in search of more game time in the upcoming window.

Coutinho has several English clubs eager to pursue him while the Catalans are desperate to get his expensive earnings off the books.

And while Everton, Tottenham and Newcastle are eager to acquire his services, the former Liverpool ace’s first choice is to sign for Mikel Arteta’s side.

Spanish outlet Sport claim that both the Gunners and Coutinho are eager for a deal to materialise in the coming weeks.

The north Londoners are said to match both the player’s ambition and wage demands, though Coutinho is aware that he needs to compromise for a package less than his current £200,000-per-week one.

Relegation-battling Newcastle are not believed to be an appealing prospect for the Brazilian, with Arsenal’s style of play and top-four ambitions meeting his expectations.

He follows several other stars who Barcelona are desperately looking to offload in January as a result of their financial situation.

Do you think Arsenal need Philippe Coutinho? Let us know in the comments section.

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The Catalans signed £55million forward Ferran Torres from Manchester City this week but need to sell the likes of Coutinho and Samuel Umtiti as they try to raise funds.

They announced that debts passed a staggering £1bllion this year as several senior players took pay-cuts and the club was forced to part ways with Lionel Messi.

Meanwhile, Arteta has played coy when asked whether Arsenal will be active in the January transfer window.

He said: “It would be useful to change something, even if it is never easy.

“We are working towards this, to understand what our needs are, and to find the right solutions.”

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