Arsenal issued with Coutinho transfer warning amid fresh speculation

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Arsenal have been issued a fresh transfer warning over Philippe Coutinho as they look to reignite their interest.

Barcelona are desperate to sell the midfielder this summer after joining from Liverpool in 2018 for a fee rising to £142m.

Despite signing for his dream club, it has been a nightmare time for the Brazilian at the Nou Camp.

Los Cules have been paying for that transfer ever since with their finances already in trouble prior to the Covid pandemic.

After another failed campaign where Coutinho managed just two La Liga goals in 12 appearances, Ronald Koeman is frantically searching for a club to take him off their hands.

Mikel Arteta was keen on signing the playmaker last summer as he eyed a replacement to Mesut Ozil but a transfer failed to materialise.

Now a year on, a deal could be made that suits Arsenal's needs more with Barcelona in a state of desperation.

However, former Gunners defender Nigel Winterburn has advised Arteta to turn his nose up at a potential deal and trust the youngsters.

Winterburn told Goal: "I wouldn't go down that line, we've got a lot of young talent coming through.

"Unless he would be on the right wages or if there was a way to fit him in then it could be an option.

"It's been touted around so much I don't believe it'll happen.

"Coutinho was very good at Liverpool, but since then I've not been impressed and I'm not convinced by it."

He instead believes Arsenal should focus on their youngsters having seen Joe Willock impress on loan at Newcastle and Bukayo Saka emerge as their star man.

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Winterburn said: "It's difficult to assess them sometimes and that final step into the first team, we've seen it with [Bukayo] Saka who's been a revelation.

"But, one or two of the younger players who have been given a taste haven't managed to make the step like Saka.

"Willock has been very strong in the cup competitions, but in the Premier League he hasn't hit those heights for Arsenal.

"On the flip side, it might be down to the amount of game time he's getting at that level, but he's shown what he can do at Newcastle.

"He's a player I really like, so I hope he is given a chance to come in and fill that role."

As well as Coutinho, Norwich star Emi Buendia has also been linked with a move to Arsenal.

It comes after their chances of landing Martin Odegaard declined dramatically following the departure of Zinedine Zidane at the Norweigan's parent club Real Madrid.

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