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Factor in that Coutinho is still only 27, can play as a No 8 and operate on the left or right flanks rather than just a No 10, and the appeal is clear.

That is, though, provided a loan deal can be agreed – as a price tag that would likely reach £70million is well beyond Arsenal’s reach after their spending last summer, the coronavirus crisis and their lack of Champions League football in recent years.

Even a loan would not be cheap though, and Coutinho would immediately become one of Arsenal’s top earners, though perhaps he may be willing to take a pay cut to return to England – or Barca may be open to paying part of his wages.

Arsenal would also likely need to negotiate a deal that would only make the move permanent dependent in a year or two’s time on certain conditions.

If the north London club don’t qualify for the Champions League with Coutinho back in the team, his wages – and transfer fee – would be unjustifiable.

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