Arsenal transfer round-up: Coutinho links re-emerge and Houssem Aouar latest
Arsenal’s rebuild over the summer months has seen the scouting and recruitment department undergo a complete overhaul and Mikel Arteta welcome the additions of some young, exciting talent.
On top of that, Arteta has managed to persuade star man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to remain at the club with a view to leaving a ‘legacy’ at the Emirates Stadium, but has so far been unsuccessful at offloading much of the deadwood.
Players such as Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi, Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi have all been tipped for moves away from the club, however all four remain on Arsenal’s books.
Attempts to sell the now peripheral figures under Arteta have been unsuccessful, and with the Spaniard hoping to bring in a new midfielder at the very least, the possibility of doing so may hinge rather heavily on some sizeable outgoings.
Here is the latest Arsenal transfer round-up.
Aubameyang reveals he almost left this summer
Aubameyang signed off on a new multi-million pound contract earlier this month, much to the delight of Arsenal supporters around the world. However, the Gabon international has stated he did consider leaving the club prior to agreeing his latest extension.
“I was thinking about it [leaving], to tell you the truth, because I had good opportunities,” Aubameyang told Sky Sports.
“But this feeling to be here – the love from the fans and all the club – I’m not sure that by leaving I will receive the same love, so that’s why I’m staying.”
Aubameyang credits Arteta as a key factor in his decision to stay in North London. He revealed he felt good about the prospect of working under the former Arsenal captain, citing the possibility of creating a legacy proved too good an opportunity to turn down.
Lyon president suggests Arsenal struggling financially
Jean-Michel Aulas, the president of Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais, has implied Arsenal may be unable to afford top target Houssem Aouar this autumn.
The club value Aouar at £55million according to BeIN Sports, with Aulas inferring the Frenchman is out of Arsenal’s price range due to the financial implications of the coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking to Le Progres, Aulas said: “Financially, Arsenal are like everyone else [amid the coronavirus pandemic].”
“Houssem could say to himself that the best thing would be to stay with us,” Aulas added, speaking for his star player.
Aouar remains one of Arsenal’s top transfer priorities along with Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey. Should Arsenal enter into talks with the French club and the player’s representatives, Arteta may be able to persuade Aouar to join the Gunners by promising him a key role in his restructuring of the squad.
However, unlike other clubs, the Gunners’ manager cannot guarantee European football – something which Aouar will be lacking whether he stays in France with OL or joins Arsenal.
Arsenal to take advantage of Barcelona exodus
Arteta could call on former club Barcelona to provide him with the additional midfielder he desires for his Arsenal squad.
The Daily Star reports Philippe Coutinho remains on Arsenal’s radar – with a view to a loan deal – despite new boss Ronald Koeman’s insistence that the Brazilian has a role to play at the Camp Nou this year.
Barcelona are currently in a crisis, with key figures including Lionel Messi speaking out against Club President Josep Bartomeu amid the exodus of key first-team players Luis Suarez, Nelson Semedo and Ivan Rakitic.
Messi himself was tipped for a move away from Catalonia earlier this summer, but it could be Coutinho who becomes the latest departure, as the club aim to recoup some of the money haemorrhaged during the coronavirus pandemic.
The playmaker spent last season on loan at Bayern Munich where he won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and UEFA Champions League, knocking out parent club Barcelona along the way.
Despite Koeman’s claim, the player himself – represented by Kia Joorabchian who is known to have Arsenal links – may wish for a fresh start.