Martin Keown rates Arsenal’s prospects of signing Philippe Coutinho

Arsenal legend Martin Keown doesn't expect the Gunners to sign Philippe Coutinho on loan

Transfer Agent
By Transfer Agent
Martin Keown
Ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown (Photo: BT Sport)

Martin Keown has played down Arsenal’s chances of signing Philippe Coutinho from FC Barcelona before Thursday’s deadline day.

The Brazil international has emerged as a surprise target for the north London side over the past couple of days.

Arsenal are thought to be interested in brining the former Liverpool FC playmaker to the English capital on a season-long loan.

A report earlier this week suggested Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi was interested in a loan deal for Coutinho, although FC Barcelona want £25m to send the Brazilian to the Gunners for the next 12 months.

Unai Emery recently poured cold water on the reports – and former Arsenal defender Keown has admitted that he felt a deal for the FC Barcelona midfielder was always unlikely.

“It’s a shame to think that it is far-fetched when they could have been real possibilities,” Keown told the Daily Mirror.

“I would love to see him at Arsenal without a doubt, he is a great talent who has lost his way a bit but I think it is too much to hope for that he ends up at Arsenal.

“He’s a top quality player, the way he breaks from deep-lying midfield positions, his shooting ability – it’s a mystery why it hasn’t gone well for him at Barcelona.

“It would be a very exciting signing.”

Coutinho moved to FC Barcelona in a £142m deal from Liverpool FC in the 2018 January transfer window following months of speculation linking the 27-year-old with a move to the Spanish giants.

Arsenal have already signed four new players in the summer transfer window, starting with Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli.

The Gunners snapped up Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba in a £36m deal before Dani Ceballos arrived on a loan deal from Real Madrid.

Arsenal broke their transfer record after the Gunners signed Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe in a £72m deal from Ligue 1 side Lille last week.

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