The future of Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho points to the Premier League

The Barcelona player has been on loan with Bayern Munich since the start of the season.

Barcelona have made their decision with regards to the future of Philippe Coutinho and are sticking to it. The Brazilian no longer has a place in the team and is headed for a summer exit.

Despite his drop in form since joining the Catalans and his less that stellar play with Bayern Munich, he is still garnering interest from the Premier League.

All signs point towards a return to England. A place where he’s enjoyed the most success in his career with Liverpool.

According to Sport, Arsenal, Tottenham and Leicester City are all in the running for acquiring Coutinho. The report claims that the Catalans may have to agree to a loan move like they did with Bayern Munich.

The reason being is that clubs are unlikely to pay the transfer fee that Barcelona would want and would simply want a loan so they are only on the hook for the player’s wages.

Both Spurs and Leicester will play European football next season and could look to bolster their attack with Coutinho. Playing on a team where creatively the responsibility falls on him could get his career back on track.

At Barcelona, he struggled playing on the left of a front three as one of the things he does well is cutting inside during his team’s attacks. Unfortunately so does Lionel Messi which imbalanced the side and left him on the periphery more often than not.

In particular with Leicester, he would be reunited with manager Brendan Rogers who he played under when he was managing Liverpool.

Arsenal could be the frontrunner in acquiring Coutinho.

The wild card in the chase for Coutinho could be Arsenal. The Gunners balked at a loan move as they are not willing to pay his wages. His agent, Kia Joorabchian, has influence at the club and could convince them to take him on. Coutinho may have to agree to a wage cut, however.

Arsenal believe that an agreement with Barcelona could be reached if they were to include a player in return. According to Sport, they have offered Matteo Guendouzi in exchange for Coutinho.

The French midfielder has seen his playing time significantly reduced under new manager Mikel Arteta and the relationship between the two seems cold at best.

A straight sap deal is unlikely to get a deal done but it could serve as a starting point. Barcelona want cash in a possible deal as they want to use it to fund their other transfers. But they might be willing to accept less if someone like Guendouzi were to be involved.

As it stands, Arsenal are not in line to play any European football next season. Their only shot is if they manage to beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final. If they do so, then they make it to the Europa League.

Mikel Arteta has already stated that if the higher-ups at Arsenal want the club to improve, then a significant investment in it needs to be made. Signing Coutinho would be proof that they are interested in seeing the club grow.

Negotiations with any team over Coutinho are likely to begin in earnest once the Champions League is over. The only thing that is certain is that Barcelona want to move on from the Brazilian who turned out to be an expensive flop.