Kia Joorabchian sends message to Arsenal and Chelsea over Philippe Coutinho’s stance Philippe Coutinho has been offered to Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United (Getty Images)‘It may not happen this year, it may happen this year, we don’t know. We have not discussed anything for now.’AdvertisementAdvertisementJoorabchian also denied reports which claim that Barcelona are demanding a £10m loan fee for Coutinho, and are also asking clubs to fully cover the 27-year-old’s £250,000-a-week salary.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 City‘I have never heard those figures,’ he said.‘None of these numbers have ever been discussed.’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page. Metro Sport ReporterMonday 1 Jun 2020 12:22 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link5.6kShares Advertisement Comment Advertisement Philippe Coutinho could be returning to the Premier League this summer (Getty Images)Philippe Coutinho is keen to return to the Premier League with Barcelona offering the midfielder to Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham.The Brazil international has been on loan at Bayern Munich for the season but the German club will not be making his move permanent in the next transfer window.Barcelona are open to offloading their £140 million signing from Liverpool this summer and have reportedly offered the player to several clubs across Europe.And Kia Joorabchian admits Coutinho is open to returning to England’s top flight.ADVERTISEMENT‘He has a desire to come back to the Premier League at some point,’ Joorabchian told Sky Sports.
Eloy Lindeijer, PGGMHe said that he would like to divest from Dutch, German and Austrian government bonds, as well as long-duration interest swaps, in favour of inflation-matching investments such as European property and core infrastructure.The FTK gave the wrong incentive by requiring pension funds to hedge their liabilities against a volatile risk-free market rate, he argued. “This leads to significant investments in government bonds and swaps, with the liquidity call on swaps hampering taking additional stakes in long-duration private investments.”Lindeijer also criticised the FTK’s risk model, in which property and infrastructure had a high risk weighting whereas euro-denominated government bonds were deemed low risk.Bespoke risk modelsUnderfunded schemes – including PGGM’s main client, PFZW, and other large sector pension funds ABP, PMT and PME – are not allowed to add investment risk, whereas schemes that can face higher buffer requirements if they raise their risk profile.In Lindeijer’s opinion, pension funds should be allowed to apply their own fine-tuned risk models to bring their investments in line with what is “sound long-term economic policy”.“It is about broadening the selection of approved matching assets, such as the most solid infrastructure projects, European property and long-duration mortgages,” the CIO argued. The Netherlands’ current risk model is “too static” and predates the financial crisis, “when there was a glut of well-returning matching assets”.He emphasised that, post-financial crisis, not even government bonds are always safe given their susceptibility to rising interest rates and default risk from countries such as Italy.Discount rateThe current discount rate for liabilities was a big source of volatility at pension funds, he said, highlighting its pro-cyclical effects.“If equity markets decline, the risk-free interest rate often falls as well, causing an additional hit on schemes’ coverage ratio. Subsequently, underfunded pension funds can’t increase equity risk, while they would like to invest when markets have bottomed,” he explained.Lindeijer said a stable discount rate would enable pension funds to take the right investment decisions.“As the Netherlands doesn’t have sufficient clout to affect ECB policy, it can change the way we deal with the FTK,” the CIO argued.The FTK’s risk model has also been criticised by Dutch-Canadian pensions expert Keith Ambachtsheer. In an interview to be published in IPE’s December issue, he argued that “the constant pressure to reduce solvency risk to avoid further pension cuts has reduced the long-term wealth-creating capability of the massive €1.4trn pool of Dutch retirement savings”.“Too much is dead money, locked up in low-return fixed income instruments,” Ambachtsheer said. “During the past few years we have benefited from the low-rate policy, as equity markets rose and hedging through swaps and bonds was profitable,” Lindeijer explained. “But now the reverse effect looms.” Dutch pension funds urgently need updated risk models as the current financial assessment framework (FTK) means they miss investment opportunities and exposes them to rising interest rates, according to PGGM’s chief investment officer Eloy Lindeijer.Speaking to IPE’s Dutch sister publication Pensioen Pro, Lindeijer said schemes were stuck with low-yielding or even loss-making fixed income holdings.“They are a big source of volatility, and investing in them means a direct loss in real terms and comes at the expense of opportunities,” he said.The investments would be hard hit when interest rates rose again, for example as a result of the European Central Bank ceasing its quantitative easing policy, the investment chief said.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has questioned the “conflicting” scheduling of Saturday’s Barclays Premier League showdown between Chelsea and Manchester United in direct competition with their FA Cup semi-final against Reading at Wembley. Arsenal have a near full-strength side to choose from this weekend, with midfielder Jack Wilshere having returned to full fitness, although captain Mikel Arteta is not yet back in contention from his injury lay-off nor is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Wenger feels the fierce competition for places can only be positive. He said: “Everybody feels that it is difficult to get in the team, all the players have top, top quality. “Of course it’s difficult for me as well to make these kind of decisions. “You do not ask anybody to understand that he doesn’t play because they all deserve to play. “They have to accept it and to respect the decision, that is what you want from the players.” One player who has watched from the bench in recent weeks is Theo Walcott, his last appearance as a substitute in the 2-0 Champions League win in Monaco on March 17. The 26-year-old is out of contract at the end of the 2015-16 season, and speculation has already begun over his future with talks over a new deal still to be finalised. Wenger, though, hopes that will be at the Emirates Stadium. “Yes I am confident because I believe that Theo has a great future,” said the Arsenal boss. “He is just coming back from a very, very difficult injury. Every week he is getting better. “Theo is very young and I believe he will have a great goalscoring record in the future because of the quality and intelligence of his game, and therefore I would like him to stay with our club.” Wenger also confirmed he expected veterans Arteta and Tomas Rosicky to agree contract extensions before the end of the season. Arsenal needed penalties to get past Wigan in last season’s semi-final, before going on to beat Hull on their return to Wembley after being 2-0 down early in the final. “We know that it (semi-final) is always tricky. We have learnt from Wigan last year,” he said. “The urgency level will be quite high in our team.” Wenger added: “Reading have many players who have the experience in the Premier League. “They have a very efficient style, who go a lot for crosses, so for us they can be a danger going forward.” Press Association The Gunners take on the Royals at 5:20pm which will be shown live on the BBC. However, only some 10 minutes later, the Premier League leaders will kick off on Sky Sports against third-placed United at Stamford Bridge. Under Premier League broadcast deals, the selection of Chelsea versus Manchester United was set back in February, when the FA Cup semi-finalists were still unknown. The Football Association and rights holders BBC and BT Sport decide independently on the weekend slots for their competition. Despite the fixtures timings not playing out as all broadcasters may have first hoped, Wenger still feels more consideration should have been made to keep the two high-profile games separate. “I am a bit surprised that a (Premier League) game of the same stature is played at the same time. There is a bit of conflict there that is difficult to understand,” said Wenger at his pre-match media conference on Thursday morning. “Something should be done about it. “I am surprised that they did not analyse that in television deals because basically what happens there, it is something that should have been planned, that two television channels who pay a lot of money for football have conflicted interests in promoting games. That inside the country shouldn’t happen.” Wenger added: “You would like it (FA Cup) to be the unique competition that is played, especially a semi-final and a final, you would want it not to conflict with other competitions.” Chelsea could extend their lead over Arsenal to 10 points should they beat United, but also remain just seven ahead and level on matches if they are defeated by Louis van Gaal’s in-form side. Arsenal host Chelsea next weekend, but Wenger is not looking any further ahead than Saturday’s cup tie at Wembley. “Mathematically yes (defeat for Chelsea would open up the title race again), but we have to win our games. That is all we can do,” Wenger said.