Barcelona’s club record signing Philippe Coutinho is set for a Camp Nou exit after a tumultuous four years at the club.
Sky Sports reports that the Brazilian will be returning to the Premier 6this weekend, with six clubs including Aston Villa vying for his signature.
Coutinho’s former midfield partner at Liverpool, Steven Gerrard is now in the Villans’ dugout and has reportedly placed a call to the midfielder to convince him to join the club.
Aston Villa have also been reported to have approached Barcelona who signed the midfielder for a club record £146 million, to inquire about what it’ll take to sign him.
However, despite the efforts made to sign him so far, Villa’s management are likely not going to go into any bidding war with the other clubs who are interested in the midfielder.
Coutinho wants an ambitious sporting project in a team where he can play regularly as he eyes a spot in Brazil’s 2022 World Cup squad.
The 29-year-old, who is also attracting interest from teams abroad, will decide his next club before this weekend.
Clubs interested in Coutinho
Barcelona have chosen to count their losses on the midfielder who was once seen as Andres Iniesta’s replacement at Camp Nou.
He was, at the time, a perfect fit for the Catalan club’s famed tiki-taka triangular football style but coaches never quite knew how best to incorporate him into a new-look Barcelona that was starting to take shape.
After several changes in the dugout and many experimental styles to find what can work again at the club, he is now deemed surplus to requirements.
Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian is now working in collaboration with Barcelona, who want to offload the player in order to make space for new signing Ferran Torres, to find a new home for the Brazil international.
The Brazilian’s wage demands are a significant part of whatever deal they can find and it remains to be seen if Aston Villa can handle it despite Steven Gerrard personally demanding for the player.
Everton and Tottenham are also interested, with the latter having reportedly readied a €20 million deal for the player as Antonio Conte seeks to rebuild the Spurs squad.
No club is in pole position to sign Coutinho, according to reporter
Sky Sports News‘ Kaveh Solhekol, who reported the latest on Coutinho, also noted that no club is being ruled out by Barcelona at this point.
“There are lots of clubs interested in signing Coutinho, including six Premier League clubs, as well as clubs abroad,” Solhekol said.
“But he wants to come back to England and to return to the Premier League.
“I’m told no club is in pole position at the moment to sign him.
“I don’t think he knows where he’s going, but he’s got lots of options and his representatives are speaking to different clubs.
“We’ve seen his move to Barcelona hasn’t worked out, it’s been very stop-start. He wants to go somewhere where he can settle and play regularly.”