Aston Villa attacker ‘already exploring’ summer exit with switch to European giants on the cards

coutinho and ollie watkins of aston villa

Phillipe Coutinho’s entourage are ‘already starting to explore’ options for a potential departure from Aston Villa this summer, according to reports.

The 30-year-old was signed by Steven Gerrard on an initial loan deal in January 2022, before his stay was made permanent for £17m six months later. However, he has barely played under new boss Unai Emery.

Indeed, after a poor season at Villa Park, it now seems Coutinho will try to move everywhere in the coming months, with his former club Inter Milan believed to be a potential option.

In 22 appearances across all competitions for the Clarets this season, the Brazilian has scored just one goal and has made zero assists – a very poor return for a player of his quality.

Now, since Emery’s arrival, Coutinho has barely featured at all – being left out of the matchday squad altogether for their last six Premier League games.

Considering this is a player who was bought by Barcelona for £142m in 2018, it’s no surprise that he is looking to reignite his career elsewhere.

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Coutinho wants Inter return

According to a report from InterLive, Coutinho’s entourage are expected to ‘make contact’ over a summer return to Inter Milan, but financially, the deal may prove to be difficult.

They note that Villa will look to recoup as much of the £17m they paid for the Brazilian as possible, while the Nerazzurri may also struggle to meet his hefty wage demands.

Indeed, it is believed that Coutinho is currently on a salary of £125,000 per week – which would be beyond Inter’s financial capabilities.

As a result, the Italian giants will most likely aim to seal a loan move for the attacker, although, Villa would prefer to offload him permanently.

Ex-Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor recently urged Emery to ‘cut their losses’ by selling Coutinho, after he has failed to give the manager ‘a headache’ this term.

However, if no one is willing to pay a transfer fee for his services, Villa may end up allowing him to join Inter on loan after all.

This would no doubt be popular with Inter’s supporters after Coutinho enjoyed a successful five-year stint with the Italian giants at the beginning of his career.

Overall, as a youngster, the Brazilian made 47 appearances for Inter, scoring five goals and making four assists in the process – before joining Liverpool in 2013.

This could be the last big move of Coutinho’s career, so it would be fitting for him to have one last dance with his first club before he bows out.

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