Arsenal and Tottenham set for January transfer battle to sign Philippe Coutinho

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.

However, after failing to hit the heights that he did at Anfield, the 29-year-old has been put up for sale by Barca as they look to resolve their torrid financial situation.

Coutinho has made 66 appearances since moving to the La Liga, scoring 15 times, but he has struggled for consistency and with injuries in Spain.

With Barca desperate to raise funds, they are keen for the former Inter Milan playmaker to follow the likes of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann out the door.

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.

On the contrary, Tottenham's business was focused more on making minor improvements scattered around the team, with the priority instead being to keep striker Harry Kane at the club.

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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.

During that time, Coutinho made 152 Premier League appearances for the Reds, playing a crucial role in the side that almost won the Premier League in the 2013-14 alongside Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.

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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.

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