Football

Barcelona ramping up transfer talks with Arsenal over Philippe Coutinho


The Spanish giants want to cash in on the playmaker as quickly as possible (Picture: Getty)

Barcelona are prioritising the sale of Philippe Coutinho and are ramping up talks with Arsenal as they look to raise funds to make summer signings of their own, according to reports.

The Spanish giants have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and need to sell before they can buy, with Coutinho – who spent last season on loan at Bayern Munich – attracting plenty of interest after the German champions declined to make the move permanent.

Arsenal have already started talks with both Barca and Coutinho’s agent, Kia Joorabchian, with head of football Raul Sanllehi driving the deal.

Coutinho has won the Bundesliga and German Cup and now wants European glory (Picture: Getty)

Now Spanish newspaper Sport report that Barcelona want to offload the Brazilian playmaker as quickly as possible and are prioritising his sale.

The Catalan club had initially felt the transfer market would be dominated by swap deals this summer but that has not proved to be the case, and they are looking to secure a straight cash deal for Coutinho so they can begin signing players themselves.

Arsenal are said to be very keen to bring Coutinho back to the Premier League and there is a willingness from all parties to get the deal done.

Mikel Arteta’s side are the clear frontrunner to land Coutinho and talks are progressing well, though Barca have not closed the door to other clubs from entering the bidding.

Barca are looking to secure a quick deal, though the 28-year-old may have other ideas and is keen to focus on Bayern’s Champions League campaign – which could last for another two-and-a-half weeks – before thinking about a transfer.

Speaking to talkSPORT about when Coutinho will decide his next move, Joorabchian explained: ‘After the Champions League, I think it’s not been a secret, we’ve not kept it a secret, that he wants to come back to the Premier League if he can.

Coutinho missed a lot of football after the season restart due to injury (Picture: Getty)

‘He loves playing in the Premier League, he adored playing in the Premier league, and I think that’s one of his priorities. But he’s also not at all against staying at Barcelona. So it’s still very much open.’

Coutinho is unlikely to be the only Barca player heading to the Premier League this summer, with Sport also reporting that they are in talks with West Ham over striker Martin Braithwaite and Everton over young centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo.

MORE: Arsenal in pole position to sign Philippe Coutinho as Raul Sanllehi drives talks

MORE: Kia Joorabchian speaks out on Arsenal target Philippe Coutinho’s future and reveals when he will decide next move

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