Transfer Talk – Arsenal eye Coutinho if Aston Villa can’t match Barcelona’s €40m clause

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The 2022 January transfer window is closed, but there’s still plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Arsenal plan Coutinho swoop

Arsenal will move quickly to acquire Philippe Coutinho if Aston Villa fail to exercise their priority purchase option before his loan deal expires, according to Sport.

Villa boss Steven Gerrard is reported to be keen to acquire his former Liverpool teammate on a permanent basis, but he is yet to receive the green light from the Villa Park hierarchy that the funds will be made available to activate the €40 million option clause.

Barcelona have decided to move the 29-year-old attacking midfielder on in the summer with plans to raise funds for other signings, and they hope to have a deal confirmed by June 30.

While the LaLiga club have no plans to lower their asking price should Coutinho’s future no longer be at Villa, the latest suggests that the Gunners are prepared to meet the €40m demand with plans of offering the Brazil international a long term contract at the Emirates Stadium.

Coutinho has been a standout performer for Villa since joining on loan in January, registering four goals and three assists in nine Premier League appearances.

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PAPER GOSSIP

– Barcelona have identified Alexandre Lacazette as a potential alternative forward option, writes Ekrem Konur. The Blaugrana are continuing to look for reinforcements on their front line, and with fees proving to be an issue in moves for the likes of Erling Haaland and Alexander Isak, Lacazette is seen as a more realistic option. The 30-year-old Arsenal striker will be out of contract at the end of the season.

– AS Roma look to have completed talks for the signing of Mile Svilar, reports Fabrizio Romano. Jose Mourinho’s side have been in talks for the Benfica B goalkeeper over the past month, and it now looks as though that the deal will be announced before the end of the season. Svilar, 22, earned his first cap for the Serbia national team back in September.

Luka Modric has made his decision to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu, reveals Marca. Manchester City were recently linked with looking to tempt the 36-year-old midfielder back to the Premier League, but it looks as though he will soon sign new terms at Real Madrid. Modric has remained a key player for the LaLiga side this season, making 32 appearances across all competitions.

– Napoli and Juventus are keeping a close eye on Junior Traore, according to Calciomercato. The 22-year-old has impressed for Sassuolo during the current Serie A campaign, and the latest suggests that the club will receive contact from Naples this week ahead of a potential summer deal. His valuation is believed to be around €25million.

– Lyon are keeping tabs on Villarreal central defender Aissa Mandi, writes Foot Mercato. As hopes of Jason Denayer renewing teams with the Ligue 1 club continue to look certain, the club hierarchy are now looking for alternatives. Mandi has stood out in LaLiga this season despite not being a starter, and the latest indicates that the 30-year-old Algeria international would be open to a return to Ligue 1.