Arsenal enter ‘talks’ to disrupt Everton hopes of Barcelona transfer

Martin Braithwaite celebrating with Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho, Barcelona, November 2020

Arsenal have set the wheels in motion over bringing a Barcelona playmaker to England, though the three-way race is currently led by Everton, per a report.

Barcelona seem destined to offload several of their first-team stars this summer. The Spanish giants are in deep financial trouble. Sanctioning multiple player exits is one of the few guaranteed ways from which they can generate significant cash.

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A recent report detailed four players who could be moved on this summer, including a a midfielder who has attracted Chelsea’s eye.

Another player on that list was ex-Liverpool favourite, Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian’s career has stalled since leaving Anfield for his dream move to Barcelona in 2018.

His place in the starting eleven has rarely been guaranteed under multiple different managers. As such, he was loaned out to Bayern Munich in 2019.

The 29-year-old has often been touted as a target for Arsenal, though his recent long-term injury setback gave Gunners boss Mikel Arteta pause for thought. Coutinho ruptured the outer meniscus in his knee around the turn of the year that ruled him for the remainder of the season.

How he recovers was said to be critical to Arteta’s thinking over a potential swoop. But per Caught Offside, they are not the only ones considering a move.

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Citing Spanish publication Todo Fichajes, they reveal that Everton, Leicester and Arsenal are all ‘in talks’.

The Toffees are deemed the likeliest candidate to bring Coutinho back to England via the loan route. Everton have a recent history of taking a chance on big name gambles after signing James Rodriguez last summer.

Another advantage they hold could come from Coutinho already reportedly owning property on Merseyside through his time at local rivals Liverpool.

Nevertheless, with hopes of bringing Martin Odegaard back to the Emirates permanently not slim, Coutinho is looking an increasingly viable option for Arsenal’s creative department.

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Arsenal legend nearing Crystal Palace appointment

Meanwhile, Patrick Vieira has reached an agreement to become the next Crystal Palace manager, according to multiple reports.

Palace have been on the lookout for a new manager since announcing Roy Hodgson would be leaving at the end of his contract. It has not been an easy search so far, with deals for Nuno Espirito Santo and Lucien Favre falling through. But now they seem to be close to finding a good alternative candidate.

According to various sources, including The Athletic and Sky Sports, Vieira has reached a verbal agreement to take over at Selhurst Park.

A visa application has been submitted and if successful, Vieira could oversee the first day of pre-season training on Monday.

Palace have been close to appointing managers before in recent weeks, so won’t be taking anything for granted. But there seems to be genuine optimism this time that this one will happen.

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