Reports in Spain claimed that the La Liga champions were considering an improbable £27m loan approach for the hot and cold Brazilian, however, the Arsenal manager was quick to silence the idea that the club were considering a genuine approach for the player.
“He’s a splendid player,” Emery said after he saw his side lose 2-1 to Barca in the annual Joan Gamper Trophy friendly. “But we haven’t talked about Coutinho at any time.”
Arsenal’s pursuit of defensive targets however will continue unabated and Kieran Tierney’s protracted move to North London from Celtic took another slow step in the right direction after the Scottish champions identified Brentford’s Rico Henry as the left-back’s replacement.
The Gunners have had a £25m bid rejected for Tierney due to Celtic being unhappy with the proposed structure of payment instalments and add-ons. However, after selling Krystian Bielik to Derby for a fee potentially rising to £10m, Arsenal are expected to close the deal before the end of the window.
Arsenal have prioritised the centre-back and have already seen a two-year loan offer rejected by Juventus, according to Goal.
The hole in defence will be further blown by Laurent Koscielny’s impending departure after the club captain refused to travel on the pre-season tour of the US last month.
Arsenal and Koscielny have been working towards a resolution that pleases both parties, with the club determined to receive a fee for the player, despite his hopes of leaving on a free transfer with terms reportedly agreed with Rennes and Bordeaux.
Eddie Nketiah is reportedly at the centre of a dispute between senior figures at Arsenal, who are deciding whether the 19-year-old striker should remain at the club or spend a season on loan.
Bristol City and Swansea have both shown an interest in signing the forward, whose playing opportunities will be limited behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe, however, Emery has supposedly had second thoughts about allowing the player to depart.
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