Aston Villa attacker Phillipe Coutinho has reportedly been allowed to speak to clubs in the Middle East over a move away from the Midlands club.
The 31-year-old is currently the Villains’ fourth-highest earner on a wage of £ 125,000 per week and has fallen down the pecking order since Emery’s arrival.
Coutinho made 20 Premier League appearances for Aston Villa last season. The majority of these were substitute appearances, though.
He featured in their opening PL fixture against Newcastle last weekend, coming on for the final three minutes of the match.
Nevertheless, everything points towards Aston Villa offloading Coutinho this summer, as they look to get his wages off the books.
According to Football Insider, Coutinho has been given permission to speak to clubs in ‘the Middle East’ about a permanent move away from Aston Villa.
Former Villa boss Steven Gerrard converted the Brazilian’s loan move from Barcelona to Villa Park into a permanent one last summer. They paid around £17m for his services.
As mentioned, however, he has seen his minutes diminish since Emery’s arrival, so it’s no surprise to see the Spaniard willing to let him leave.
Aston Villa eye new left-back
With Coutinho seemingly on the way out, Emery is keen to use the funds generated from his exit to sign a new left-back this summer.
The manager isn’t convinced by Lucas Digne and still hasn’t brought in a replacement for Ashley Young, who signed for Everton on a free transfer.
Several left-back options have been considered by Aston Villa. It now seems that their sporting director Monchi could raid his former club Sevilla.
According to another report from Football Insider, Villa are ‘continuing talks’ with the Spanish club to sign left-back Marcos Acuna.
The 31-year-old was signed by Monchi in 2020 during his time at Sevilla. He has since made 125 appearances across all competitions, scoring five goals and making 25 assists.
Acuna also played a role in Argentina’s World Cup victory last year, so there is certainly no doubting his quality. He has previously been linked with a move to the Premier League, with Wolves coming close to signing him last year.
The report claims Aston Villa have already reached an agreement on personal terms with Acuna, so the only thing left for them to negotiate is a transfer fee with Sevilla.
Football Insider do not state how much Sevilla will demand for Acuna. Other reports state, however, that the Spanish club value him at approximately £13m.