Arsenal remain focused on signing centre-back amid Philippe Coutinho speculation

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Philippe Coutinho is not Arsenal’s priority at the moment (Picture: AMA/Getty Images)Arsenal may be interested in signing Philippe Coutinho on loan, but their priority is bringing in a central defender rather than bolster their attack.Barcelona have offered Coutinho to the Gunners on a season-long loan, and according to reports in France, a deal is close to being done for the Brazilian.However, other clubs, including Tottenham, are also interested in the former Liverpool man and a switch to Arsenal is not as close as previously thought.This is also because the Gunners are focusing their efforts on signing a centre-back, reports the Guardian, which is the position most obviously in need of strengthening in Unai Emery’s squad.AdvertisementAdvertisementThree targets are receiving the most focus currently, with Juventus’ Daniele Rugani, Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti and RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano all on Arsenal’s radar. Comment Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 6 Aug 2019 8:51 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link109Shares Daniele Rugani is being targeted at centre-back (Picture: Getty Images)Rugani looks the most likely option of the three, with Leipzig quoting Arsenal £70m for Upamecano and Umtiti preferring to stay at Barca.The Italian is surplus to requirements at Juve and although Arsenal have seen an initial offer of a two-year loan move turned down, the Turin side are keen to do a deal on improved terms.As it stands, Emery’s options at centre-back are Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Shkodran Mustafi, Callum Chambers and an injured Rob Holding.Mustafi is on the transfer list, meaning that it will likely be Sokratis and Chambers in the middle of defence when Arsenal face Newcastle in their Premier League opener on Sunday.Improving these options remains Emery’s number one priority before the transfer window closes at 5pm on Thursday.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityCoutinho’s future is still up in the air with Manchester United and Liverpool also interested in a loan deal, along with the two north London clubs.Spurs are thought to be leading the chase for his signature, partially thanks to Coutinho’s relationship with boss Mauricio Pochettino after they briefly worked together at Espanyol in 2012.However, stumbling blocks for all interested parties are the £21m loan fee that Barcelona want and having to pay his hefty £200,000-a-week wages.MORE: Tottenham looking to beat Arsenal to the signing of Philippe Coutinho on loan from BarcelonaMORE: Wolves looking to beat Arsenal to Juventus defender Daniele Rugani with £30m offer Arsenal remain focused on signing centre-back amid Philippe Coutinho speculationlast_img

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