Let’s start with the big one: A report from L’Equipe in France states that Arsenal are closing in a season-long loan move for Philippe Coutinho.
The Barcelona and Brazil star, 27, has struggled since swapping Anfield for the Nou Camp and the former Liverpool superstar is reportedly keen on a move back to the Premier League.
Per the report, Coutinho will spend the season on loan at Arsenal and will not be heading to Paris Saint-Germain, the club he has been linked to on numerous occasions as Neymar has been linked with a move back to Barcelona all summer long.
After signing Nicolas Pepe for $87 million, adding Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid and still having Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on board, quite why Arsenal would want another mercurial playmaker is beyond pretty much everyone.
Except, most importantly, Arsenal.
The Gunners finally appear to be willing to sign a new central defender. But is it too late?
With just over 48 hours to go until the transfer window shuts for Premier League clubs, Arsenal have been linked with moves for two center backs.
RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Juventus’ Daniele Rugani are the two players mentioned in a report from the Guardian.
The former would be a tricky deal given the fact that Leipzig want $85 million for their 20-year-old central defender, plus Upamecano is keen to play in the UEFA Champions League for the Bundesliga side this season.
As for Rugani, it is believed Juve are open to an initial loan deal and then selling him next summer which could suit the Gunners as they reportedly have just over $50 million to spend this summer. Those reports broke before a record-breaking $87 million move for winger Pepe, but remember, that deal is to be paid in several instalments.
One thing is certain: Arsenal need help defensively. And they have done for about a decade now.
Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin will return from injury this season to boost Unai Emery‘s options but with Laurent Koscielny heading to Bordeaux and the likes of Shkodran Mustafi still around, Arsenal are looking at the likes of Sokratis and Callum Chambers to step up in defense this season. They did buy William Saliba, 18, this summer but he has gone back on loan to Saint-Etienne for the upcoming campaign, so they are no better off than least season when their leaky defense cost them finishing in the top four.
Like Manchester United, it has been pretty comical to see Arsenal blatantly ignore their need to sign new defenders in recent seasons and instead prioritize buying attacking player after attacking player.
Rugani, 25, would seem more likely to arrive and if that does happen, all of a sudden the Gunners are in the conversation for having one of the best transfer windows for PL clubs this summer.