Aston Villa’s Brazilian midfielder could be set for shock return to former club

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Philippe Coutinho, once one of the most exciting talents in world football, finds himself in an uncertain situation as his loan spell at Qatari club Al-Duhail SC continues.

Just over a year after his £17 million transfer to Aston Villa from Barcelona, the Brazilian midfielder’s future with the Premier League club appears bleak under the management of Unai Emery.

Coutinho’s time at Villa has been marred by injuries and inconsistent performances. Last season, he struggled for fitness, starting only one league match under Emery, and managed a mere 24 minutes of Premier League action this term before being loaned out. Despite being under contract until 2026, Coutinho does not seem to fit into Emery’s plans for the club.

In an effort to offload his substantial wages, Villa arranged for Coutinho to join Al-Duhail SC on loan last August. The Qatari side reportedly covers his £125,000-a-week salary in full, providing some financial relief to the Midlands club. This move has given Coutinho regular playing time, but it remains uncertain if it will lead to a permanent transfer.

Philippe Coutinho’s time at Aston Villa is coming to an end.

Philippe Coutinho’s career at Aston Villa will come to an end this summer

Coutinho’s name has been linked with several clubs, suggesting his career could take various paths. One intriguing possibility is a move to MLS side Inter Miami, where he could reunite with former Barcelona teammates Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba. Such a move could rejuvenate his career in a less demanding league and under the spotlight of global football stars.

Alternatively, a return to Brazil could be on the cards. TNT Sports Brazil reports that Vasco da Gama, the club where Coutinho spent nine years in their youth academy, are interested in bringing him back.

They are reportedly considering a loan deal with an obligation to purchase for between £4 million and £6 million. This move could provide Coutinho with a familiar environment to rediscover his form and fitness.

Getting Coutinho off their wage bill will provide extra financial flexibility for the Villans

Aston Villa remain hopeful of permanently offloading Coutinho to alleviate their wage bill. Given his lucrative contract, finding a club willing to take on his salary is challenging. However, successful negotiations with clubs like Al-Duhail or Vasco da Gama could facilitate a deal that benefits all parties involved.

Whether he continues in Qatar, returns to Brazil, or makes a high-profile move to MLS, the upcoming summer transfer window will be crucial for the next chapter of his professional journey. For Aston Villa, finding a resolution to his situation could provide financial flexibility and allow them to focus on players more aligned with Unai Emery’s vision for the team.

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