Report: Arsenal Turn Down Philippe Coutinho Loan, Focused on Defensive Signings

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 04: Philippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona waves to supporters ahead of the match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal at Nou Camp on August 04, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/MB Media/Getty Images)
Eric Alonso/MB Media/Getty Images

Arsenal have reportedly informed Barcelona they have no interest in signing Philippe Coutinho on loan, as their focus for the rest of the summer transfer window is on adding a defender.

According to the Guardian's Fabrizio Romano, Coutinho's representatives reached out to the Gunners. COPE's Helena Condis (h/t AS' Robbie Dunne) clarified it was part of a bigger play by the Catalan club, who contacted several Premier League sides.

According to The TimesSpurs have made an offer, but Barcelona want a gargantuan loan fee of more than £21 million. His move could be related to Manchester United's efforts to land Christian Eriksen. 

Monday's speculation started in France, where L'Equipe's Bilel Ghazi reported the loan deal was close:

B/R Football @brfootball

BREAKING: @Phil_Coutinho is close to joining Arsenal on loan from Barcelona, according to @BilelGhazi https://t.co/x0HPNqQ1qx

The Brazil international has been the subject of near-constant speculation throughout the summer after 18 inconsistent months in Catalonia. He has failed to live up to the hype following his switch from Liverpool, leading to a steady stream of exit rumours.

His agent, Kia Joorabchian, has complained about Barcelona's lack of clarity throughout the speculation:


Philippe Coutinho's agent wants an answer from Barcelona. https://t.co/qNcOamTs9a

Arsenal have bigger needs than adding another attack-minded player, having already splashed the cash on former Lille star Nicolas Pepe. The club sold central defender Laurent Koscielny to Bordeaux on Monday, leaving them with little time to find a replacement. The Premier League transfer window shuts Thursday.

According to Romano, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Calum Chambers will be the likely starters for the Gunners when Arsenal starts the Premier League season at Newcastle on Sunday, and depth is limited behind those two. RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano and Juventus' Daniele Rugani are targets for the club, but neither appears to fit their limited budget.