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Aston Villa must cash in on Philippe Coutinho

Aston Villa could be set to finally cash in on one of their biggest earners…

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As per Coluna do Fla, Flamengo are considering a move to bring 30-year-old star Philippe Coutinho back to his homeland.

The Brazilian outfit are said to prefer a loan, whilst Unai Emery will only allow the trickster to leave on a permanent deal.

As such, this creates a big obstacle between the two clubs. Talks will likely continue to see if a deal can soon be struck.

Cash in

Although he enjoyed a blistering start to life at Villa Park, he has since dwindled into nothing more than a fringe player.

Coutinho’s excellent form made Steven Gerrard seem like a genius, with his first real action at the Midlands outfit being to offer him a lifeline from Barcelona.

He would repay the favour with seven goal contributions in his first eight Premier League games upon his return, announcing to the league that he had not lost his incredible talent despite a torrid time in Spain.

However, he would then lose this spark almost as quickly as he gained it, failing to score or assist until his final-day finish against Manchester City in their dramatic loss: a ten-game barren run.

This mediocrity then funnelled into this current campaign, where he once again has not scored or assisted in any of his 12 league games despite a £17m summer fee.

The 69-cap international compounded his fall from grace with an omission from Brazil’s squads leading up to the World Cup, and despite his injury, it seemed highly unlikely that he would have earned a place amongst their wealth of talent given his displays.

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Speaking on his removal from the international team, former Villa marksman Gabby Agbonlahor told Football Insider that the £125k-per-week man needed a “wake-up call”, and although it was “disappointing” to see him omitted, he theorised that “maybe he got a bit comfortable”.

With a lengthy layoff now touted after his recent thigh injury, and given his age and miserable form, should Emery be able to squeeze a permanent transfer out of Flamengo, he should grab it with both hands.

Still boasting a value of £12.8m as per CIES Football Observatory, there is money to be made on his midfield maestro.

What could have been a prosperous career at Villa Park has quickly devolved into a nightmare for Coutinho, and it could now spell the end of him in England, where he once dominated.