According to the Daily Express, Arsenal are desperate to keep hold of Martin Odegaard, who has been in fine form for the Gunners.
Real Madrid are, however, reluctant to let go of the attacking midfielder and expect Odegaard to return once his loan spell with Arsenal ends at the end of the season. The Premier League outfit are therefore exploring alternate options and have identified former Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho as a potential target.
Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool to join Barcelona in 2018 in a deal worth €160 million. The Brazilian struggled to settle at the Camp Nou and spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich.
Despite regaining his form in Germany, Bayern Munich did not exercise the option of buying him at the end of his loan spell with the club. Coutinho returned to Barcelona last summer and was promised a more prominent role in the squad by new manager Ronald Koeman.
A combination of injuries and the emergence of youngster Pedri has seen Coutinho make just 14 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions this season.
Barcelona are a club in debt and will be looking to sell a number of star players in order to raise funds this summer. The report suggests that the Catalan giants would accept a bid in the region of £40 million for Coutinho.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is desperate to sign an attacking midfielder this summer. His top priority is to retain the services of Martin Odegaard, but the Spaniard will keep Coutinho as an alternate option if Real Madrid refuse to let go of the Norwegian.
Philippe Coutinho might benefit from joining Arsenal
Philippe Coutinho has arguably been one of Barcelona's worst transfers in recent history. The Brazilian was one of the best players in the Premier League when he made the move to Barcelona in 2018.
Coutinho was expected to be Neymar's replacement, with the Brazilian leaving Barcelona to join PSG in 2017. 28-year-old has, however, failed to live up to the hype, and is currently struggling to find a place in Barcelona's starting line-up.
Coutinho could follow in the footsteps of the likes of James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale, and Martin Odegaard by leaving a top Spanish team in favor of a Premier League move to try and rejuvenate his career.