Arsenal transfer: gunners congratulated for snubbing Philippe Coutinho to sign a “safer bet” | Football | sport

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Arsenal are right to sign Willian but ignore an agreement for Philippe Coutinho because the Chelsea winger is a “safer bet”, believes club legend Martin Keown.

Reports have indicated that despite interest in Coutinho, the cash-strapped Gunners will only sign Willian rather than adding the two to their squad.Willian is expected to become an Arsenal player shortly after reaching a three-year deal to swap Stamford Bridge for the Emirates.

The Brazilian will play no part for Chelsea in their Champions League clash, with Bayern Munich tonight (8 p.m.) being left out of the 23-man traveling squad.

Willian, who turns 32 tomorrow, is believed to sign a deal worth £ 100,000 a week in base pay with performance-related bonuses potentially improving his pay.

But once the winger is added to Mikel Arteta’s squad, Arteta should focus on adding to his defense center and central midfielder rather than adding attacking midfielder Coutinho.

The Barcelona playmaker’s stock has shrunk considerably since his stint from £ 142million at Liverpool’s Camp Nou in January 2018.

He will be in Bayern’s squad against Chelsea tonight, but the Bavarians have ignored the option of signing him permanently once his season-long loan is over.

And Barca dispatched the 28-year-old across Europe as they sought to find a club to take Coutinho from their hands.

But Keown insists he’s happy Arsenal prefers Willian over fellow South American.

“Coutinho has been linked with pretty much everyone and seems, if I’m honest, a little unstable,” former center-back Keown told the Daily Mirror.

“I think Willian is a safer bet. He’s in the capital, he knows the Premier League very well and he’s a top player. I think it’s a huge loss for Chelsea. ”

“I think it’s a fantastic activity. I have always been a true admirer of Willian.

“When I saw what he’s done this year at Chelsea with his free kicks and penalties, he’s so reliable.

“He had his troubles with [Eden] Danger of being there. Sometimes he had to play the second violin. Now he’s fighting for a place with [Christian] Pulisic.

“I know there is a discussion over two or three years [contract], but I think it would be a very good acquisition for Arsenal.

“He comes with a wealth of experience and I love his work ethic.

“He’s someone who will always give you 100% and the right kind of player to step into what is a very young Arsenal locker room. ”

European football expert Julien Laurens said on ESPN’s Gab and Juls podcast: “I think the Willian deal is pretty much over. Three years. It’s a good debate, he will be 32 years old later this month, is it too long? “

“Let’s not forget that there was a time when Arsène Wenger was where he only gave a one-year contract to over 30s and now you give three years to a 32-year-old man, three years to [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, who is 31 years old.

“I think the influence of David Luiz on the young players in this dressing room is very important. Maybe they think Willian will be the same.

“But what you did with Luiz was you gave him a one plus one deal, which I thought was the right thing to do last summer.

“I don’t think Willian is even a two plus one, so you had a way of doing things with the older players and then you completely change to give contracts to someone who is 32 years old. Hope this works for them. ”

“For Coutinho, no. They [Barcelona] tried last summer, they tried again in january. Arsenal have said no both times.

” Even if [Mesut] Ozil leaves – I don’t think he will anyway – I don’t see how that could happen. ”



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