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A swap deal between Arsenal and Barcelona involving Philippe Coutinho and Matteo Guendouzi is on the table, according to a report.
The Independent claim the representatives of Philippe Coutinho are offering him to Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, but the Gunners are the much likelier of the two to complete a deal – specifically a swap for Matteo Guendouzi.
One option presented to Arsenal is for Barcelona to take Guendouzi and £9m, whilst the Gunners receive Coutinho on a permanent transfer.
Technically, the idea would be to complete the two deals separately. So Barcelona would pay £100m for Guendouzi, and Arsenal would pay £109m for Coutinho.
The difference is that they can both account for profit from the transaction on their books. Barcelona already used this strategy in their swap deal with Juventus, trading Arthur for Miralem Pjanic. They sold Arthur for €80m, whilst buying Pjanic for €70m.
But obviously, the two deals would go through together. There wouldn’t be any risk of Arsenal buying Coutinho for £109m and then Barcelona backing out.
It’s worth mentioning that other outlets are taking a very different stance on an Arsenal move for Coutinho.
The Evening Standard claim that it’s Arsenal keen on a Guendouzi swap, whilst Barcelona don’t want it. The outlet claims a loan is more likely at this stage. The two clubs would split Coutinho’s salary, but the Gunners would pay a substantial loan fee.
Either way, it seems like there’s at least something in the rumours linking Arsenal with the player.