Arsenal could use Matteo Guendouzi in a potential swap deal which would see Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho arrive at the Emirates.
Speculation has been rife surrounding Guendouzi’s future following disciplinary issues at Arsenal, and the Frenchman has been left out of Mikel Arteta’s squad since his fracas with Brighton’s Neal Maupay.
Guendouzi has now missed eight games in all competitions for the Gunners and wasn’t part of the 20-man squad that travelled to Wembley for their FA Cup semi-final victory over Manchester City on Saturday, leading to further suggestions that the 21-year-old will head for the exit door this summer.
Despite his talent, it seems that the Gunners are willing to part ways with the former Lorient man.
He’s a player who could garner a pretty healthy return, and Foot Mercato say he could be used in an audacious swap deal with Barcelona which would see former Liverpool playmaker Coutinho join the Gunners.
The two clubs are said to be in talks, with Arsenal sporting director Edu Gaspar a huge admirer of the Brazilian.
Barcelona have placed an £80m price tag on Coutinho’s head, although if Guendouzi was to be included in a potential deal, the fee will likely reduce to around the £50m mark. The Gunners’ financial restrictions, however, mean they may struggle to fund even the reduced fee.
Nevertheless, while Coutinho is keen on returning to the Premier League, Barcelona believe Guendouzi’s spell in the English top flight would aid his chances of succeeding at Camp Nou.
Inter, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are also said to be monitoring the Frenchman’s situation.
If Coutinho did arrive at the Emirates this summer, he’d be the long-term Mesut Ozil replacement Arsenal are crying out for.
The German enjoyed a brief upturn in form following Arteta’s appointment last December, but he hasn’t made an appearance for the Gunners since the restart and it’s hard to envisage the German staying put in north London past this summer.