Arsenal’s stance on signing Philippe Coutinho amid Martin Odegaard transfer decision wait

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Arsenal have no plans to launch a bid to sign Philippe Coutinho in the summer transfer window despite their wait to find out whether or not they will be able to keep Martin Odegaard’s talents for at least another year, it has been claimed.

The Gunners have repeatedly been linked to Coutinho in recent seasons with the Brazil international’s time at the Nou Camp having not worked out.

Signed from Liverpool for around £142million in January 2018, Coutinho has failed to repeat the form he showed in the Premier League.

The South American playmaker spent last season on loan at Bayern Munich and despite posting respectable numbers for goals and assists, was not signed permanently.

He finds himself back at Barca but reports from Spain say the Blaugrana want a parting of ways with the No 10 in the coming summer window.

Sport have even claimed that Barca are willing to cut ties for as little as £35million, over than £100m less than the fee they paid to sign the player just three years ago.

But Goal’s Charles Watts, speaking on his YouTube channel, says that Arsenal’s stance on Coutinho is unlikely to have changed from last summer, when they had no interest in a deal.

Instead, Mikel Arteta strengthened his side with the additions of Thomas Partey, Gabriel Magalhaes, Willian and back-up goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson as well as making Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares’ loans permanent.

Odegaard arrived on loan in January from Real Madrid to help ease the creative burden on academy talent Emile Smith Rowe.

And the Norway international has been a huge hit, producing two goals in 12 appearances and injecting an abundance of quality into the Arsenal attack.

Arsenal have been so impressed by the 22-year-old that they would love to sign him permanently at the end of the season.

The north London outfit are expected to hold talks with Real Madrid about taking him to the Emirates on a full-time basis once his loan expires, with no discussions yet held.

Alternatively, Arsenal could also look to sign Odegaard on a season-long loan having had Dani Ceballos on loan from the Spanish champions this year and last.

It is unclear as to whether Arsenal will be able to convince Los Blancos into doing business for a permanent deal or on loan for Odegaard and their hopes of doing so may depend on whether Zinedine Zidane is in charge.

Odegaard only made a handful of starts for the La Liga heavyweights under the Frenchman this season prior to his January switch.

However if Real Madrid fail to retain their league title or win the Champions League then Zidane could be dismissed later this year and any new manager might have plans to greater utilise Odegaard’s abilities.

Discussing his future recently, Norway captain Odegaard declared: “I haven’t thought about what’ll happen in summer. The deal with Arsenal is until the end of season.

“We’ll see what happens this summer. I’ve said things before that I still stand for: stability and development are key words.”

While he said of working with Arsenal boss Arteta: “[My relationship with Arteta is] Very good. He is incredible. I have a lot to learn from him.

“I just need to ‘sharpen my ears’ and pay attention. He is fantastic. It’s been improving from the very beginning.

“I feel I quickly adapted and understood how we play. I lacked match fitness and self-confidence. The more games I’ve played, the better I’ve become. It’s a rising curve.”

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