North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are preparing to go head-to-head to secure the signature of Phillipe Coutinho from Barcelona in January.
The Brazilian midfielder joined the Catalan giants in January 2018 from Liverpool for £142m.
Barca is selling the 29 year-old Brazilian midfielder after he fails to achieve the same success at Anfield.
Coutinho made 66 appearances in La Liga since his move, scoring 15 goals, but has struggled with consistency and injuries in Spain.
Barca is desperate to raise funds and are eager for Coutinho to leave Inter Milan to join the ranks of Lionel Messi or Antoine Griezmann.
According to El Nacional, Spurs and Arsenal are aware of the situation with Coutinho and are keeping tabs on the midfielder.
The Gunners were busy in the transfer market over the summer and spent just under £150m as head coach Mikel Arteta attempts to try and rebuild the squad following their recent period of underachievement.
Tottenham was focused on minor improvements around the team and Harry Kane’s retention as the club’s striker, rather than the opposite.
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Though the sides are in need of an experienced creator, it is thought to be more likely that both would be seek a loan move for the 2019 Copa America winner.
The report claims that Liverpool are not planning to bring the Brazilian back to Merseyside anytime soon, despite the fact that he became a fan’s favourite at the club in his five years at Anfield.
Coutinho played a key role in the Reds’ side that nearly won the Premier League title in 2013-14, alongside Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
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News of Coutinho’s expected departure will come as a surprise to some considering that Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman stressed how crucial the versatile forward would be for him this season.
“For me, he’s a great player and he can be important for Barça. I am absolutely counting on him for this season,” the former Everton boss said:
However, injuries kept Coutinho sidelined for the first few weeks of the season but he has played just 82 minutes since and now looks set for a January move away from Catalonia.