Villa ace linked with exit amid struggles this season

Aston Villa playmaker Philippe Coutinho has been paired with an exit as it’s been reported a move to Corinthians could be an option for him.

It’s been a struggle for the 30-year-old so far this season, as he has failed to contribute a goal or an assist in 13 appearances thus far, totalling 641 minutes of play.

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Having made such a positive impression following his initial move on loan from Barcelona, it was hoped that our high-profile addition would prove to be an influential figure for us moving forward.

Unfortunately that hasn’t materialised so far this season, and with Unai Emery replacing Steven Gerrard, there are question marks over whether or not Coutinho will form part of the Spaniard’s plans.

After missing out on the World Cup having suffered an injury blow just before the tournament, Coutinho has been back training with the group as we prepare for the return of the Premier League next week, but speculation is already linking him with an exit ahead of the January transfer window.

As reported by Globo in Brazil, Corinthians have enquired about Coutinho’s situation and it’s suggested that his agent, Kia Joorabchian, is open to the idea of finding an agreement to take his client back to Brazil.

However, it’s also added that the financial aspect of any deal could be problematic given Coutinho’s high wages, and so it remains to be seen if agreements can be reached both between the two clubs and with the player himself.

In some ways, it perhaps makes sense for Villa to move Coutinho on if they have a chance to do so in January, as his form has been a real concern this year with question marks over whether this is merely a dip or something more long-term. To remove his wages from the books and make room for a player more suited to Emery’s plans could be the sensible strategy on the financial front and for the good of the squad.

That said, it would surely be smart to give Emery time to work with him and determine whether or not he has a part to play under him at Villa first, with Coutinho hopefully capable of making the bench at least when we face Liverpool next week.

Time will tell how the situation plays out, but the fact that reports are suggesting Coutinho could move on will encourage speculation that Emery perhaps has already made his assessment.