Arsenal are among the clubs reportedly keen on signing Philippe Coutinho on loan in the summer transfer window.
But there are two variables that hinge on the deal being completed.
Firstly, the Gunners are not in a sensational position financially, and have already asked Coutinho if he’d be willing to take a pay cut to join them.
According to Spanish publication Sport, a club must pay Barcelona €20million (£18m) to loan Coutinho for the season, as well as an additional €10m (£9m) to cover his wages.
Coutinho wasn’t overly keen on the idea of taking a pay cut. But the offer remains on the table, and the Brazilian may at some point concede to a compromise to get a move.
Arsenal getting a result in their final fixture of the season may also heavily influence Coutinho’s decision.
The Gunners didn’t finish in a strong enough position in the Premier League to qualify to play in Europe in 2020/21. But Arsenal will secure Europa League football next season should they beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final this weekend.
European football would not only appeal to Coutinho, but it would also improve the club’s financial situation, although perhaps still not to the point they could justify paying the Brazilian’s £9m wages in full.
Arsenal have a good relationship with Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian, who recently confirmed his client would like to return to England.
Joorabchian said: “We are looking to see if an option becomes available in the Premier League because that’s where he’s already enjoyed success.”
And in another boost to Arsenal’s chances of landing the Brazilian, Barcelona are in desperate need of getting Coutinho off their wage bill due to the financial issues at the club.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the Catalan giants particularly hard, as Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu recently revealed.
Bartomeu told Mundo Deportivo: “We saw that there was a pandemic worldwide and said that it would be a complex summer with swap deals, and that’s what is happening.
“Since March 14 we have not received a euro. We have missed out on €200m (£182m/$233m). €200m!
“We have recovered a lot by reducing wages and using ERTE’s (Temporary Employment Regulation File, with the government paying 70 per cent of wages).
“We have had to close the shops and the museum, there have been no ticket sales. We have paid back the ticket money for matches fans couldn’t attend. €200m is a big blow.
“This pandemic will have effects for two or three seasons. Nobody should think that things will be fixed by next season. The great financial gurus talk about four years, but I think football will go faster.”
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