According to the Daily Express (via Sport), Arsenal are plotting to move for Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho if they are unable to hold on to Martin Odegaard beyond the end of the campaign.
The Norway international moved to Arsenal from Real Madrid in January on a temporary basis until the end of 2020-21, and it is unclear what the future holds for him.
Odegaard currently has a €350 million release clause, and while the La Liga giants do not expect suitors to meet the price, they will not be letting him go on a cheap.
Arsenal could struggle to seal a permanent deal for the 22-year-old this summer, and it appears that they are already putting a contingency plan in place.
The Gunners have a cordial relationship with Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian, and both parties could finally strike a deal, having been eager to do so recently.
The Brazilian was linked with Arsenal last summer, with Barca reportedly offering him to the north London giants.
However, a move could not be agreed upon, and he returned to Camp Nou after the end of his loan spell with Bayern Munich.
Coutinho has been injured for the majority of the current campaign and has not played since last December.
The emergence of Pedri could see the 28-year-old become surplus to requirements when he returns to action, and Barcelona could be more than keen to cash in on him.
Coutinho was one of the best players in the Premier League during his time on Merseyside, and a return to England could bring out the best in him again.
The Gunners ideally would love to retain Odegaard’s services beyond this season, but that is not guaranteed, and the Barcelona man might be a great plan B.
Arsenal would definitely strike gold should the Liverpool version of Coutinho show up at the Emirates if a move works out.
In other news, Ian Wright has sent Arsenal a message about Odegaard.