Arsenal have reportedly not given up on their pursuit of Phillipe Coutinho if he can prove that his injury troubles are behind him.
The Gunners have been linked with the Brazilian with Barcelona putting the playmaker in the shop window this summer.
Mikel Arteta is on the lookout for a creative midfielder, an area which is a priority for the North London club as they undergo a major rebuild.
Arsenal were hopeful of making Martin Odegaard’s loan move permanent after an impressive stint during the second half of last season, but that has been thrown in doubt with the Norwegian set for a fresh chance at Real Madrid under Carlo Ancelotti.
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The Gunners then turned their attention to Emi Buendia but Aston Villa were able to secure his signature from Norwich City for £25million.
As a result, the Coutinho rumours have refused to go away.
Coutinho is currently rehabbing a knee injury that kept him on the sidelines towards the end of last season and Arsenal’s interest would only be serious if he can recover from the problem without any hitches.
The report claims that Mikel Arteta is an admirer of the midfielder if he returns to full fitness after an injury-hit season at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona signed Coutinho in January 2018 for a staggering £121million but has failed to re-capture the form he had previously shown with Jurgen Klopp’s side.
And it’s claimed he will be available at a discounted price deal as Barca look to cut their losses.
But former Arsenal player Nigel Winterburn is against his old club making a move for Coutinho as he would rather see Arteta invest in his young core.
He told Goal : “I wouldn’t go down that line, we’ve got a lot of young talent coming through.
“Unless he would be on the right wages or if there was a way to fit him in then it could be an option.
“It’s been touted around so much I don’t believe it’ll happen.
“Coutinho was very good at Liverpool, but since then I’ve not been impressed and I’m not convinced by it.”