Exclusive: Collymore urges Aston Villa to sell ‘vanity signing’ as soon as possible

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Philippe Coutinho does not have a place in Aston Villa’s future and should be sold as soon as possible.

That is the view of former attacker and self-confessed Villians fan Stan Collymore, who thinks the Brazilian playmaker was nothing more than a ‘vanity signing’ made by CEO Christian Purslow.

Coutinho, 30, joined the Midlands side from Barcelona 12 months ago, initially on a short-term loan, before making his switch permanent in a £20m deal in the summer.

However, despite having a Champions League winner’s medal, Coutinho has massively failed to live up to expectations at Villa Park, and Collymore now believes it is time the club parted ways with the experienced South American.

“I don’t think Philippe Coutinho will make the cut in the summer,” Collymore said in an exclusive interview.

“I think he was nothing more than one of Christian Purslow’s vanity signings, in the same way that Steven Gerrard was.

“Now they’ve got a guy in Emery who knows the coaching side of the game, a very clear message will be sent in the summer to the players who can be relied upon to help inspire a push for European football and unfortunately, Coutinho isn’t one of them.

“Prior to joining Villa, he played a pitiful amount of games, so why did Purslow and the supporters believe he was the man to make the difference week-in-week-out for Villa, especially when, at the time that he joined, they were a club very much in the bottom half of the table?”

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Coutinho’s latest poor performance came during Villa’s shock 2-1 FA Cup defeat against Stevenage on Sunday, and after being subbed off with 30 minutes to go, the 30-year-old became the subject of some online trolling by the League 2 club’s social media team.

“Trolling from Stevenage’s social media team or not, I’d be surprised if Villa didn’t try to sell Coutinho in the summer.,” Collymore added.

“It won’t be easy though. His contract runs until 2026 which was a ridiculous deal to give him by the way. It was offered at an end of season get together last summer as some sort of weird Purslow gift to Villa fans but it is a complete and utter waste of the owner’s money and because of that, they could very well end up with the player not involved at all and earning huge money – Crazy!

“Other options would obviously include Villa giving him a free transfer in three years’ time, or loaning him out before then, but either way, Coutinho should not be at Aston Villa football club.”

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