Barcelona have allowed Brazilian forward Philippe Coutinho to leave on loan

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Chelsea and Liverpool have both been linked with Coutinho since the January transfer window. "He's a splendid player, but we haven't talked about Coutinho at any time".

So naturally, the deal was dubbed as a failure and Coutinho was all set to stay at Barcelona for one more season.

Barcelona wanted to offload the playmaker - who they once saw as Andreas Iniesta's successor - this summer either by loan or permanent transfer.

And he is rumoured to be heading for a return to England, with Spurs last night joining their three Premier League rivals in a desperate late scramble to get a deal done by the deadline.

Barca have made Coutinho available for loan in the past fortnight and had fielded interest from Spurs and Arsenal.

"I would be very hard for Philippe to play for any of Liverpool's rivals, because he has such a great affinity towards Liverpool". Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino coached Coutinho at Espanyol for a short period and has retained a good relationship with the player.

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Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham are rumoured to be interested, though with the English transfer window shutting on Thursday any deal would have to move swiftly.

L'Equipe had reported that Arsenal were in the race, but the Gunners themselves denied those claims.

"Arsenal are supposedly the frontrunners to sign Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona this summer". We'll see if he plays a few minutes on Saturday.

However, it seems as though Poch's attempts to woo the Brazilian have been unsuccessful, with Sky now reporting that Coutinho has turned down the chance to move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The French midfielder is "in the process" of negotiating his exit from Manchester United, according to agent Mino Raiola, and it is Real Madrid who have been closely associated with him.

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