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Written by Martin Graham | April 18 2022
daily expression It is reported that Philippe Coutinho, Barcelona and Aston Villa will meet this week to discuss his future at both clubs.
Coutinho, 29, has had a checkered time at Barcelona since signing with the club from Liverpool in 2018. He has spent two of his four seasons with the Catalan giants on loan, and is now nearing the end of his tenure. In Spain.
The midfielder, currently on loan at Aston Villa managed by Steven Gerrard, is said to be not in Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez’s plans for next season.
Meanwhile, Villa impressed Coutinho, who has played on the ground and has contributed seven goals (four goals and three assists) in 12 games since joining the club in January.
Reports claim that West Midlands club wants to keep the Brazilian, but Gerrard, who played with Coutinho at Liverpool before retiring from the season ahead of the Brazilian’s departure to Barcelona, quelled the rumors.
Barcelona are aware of Coutinho’s impressive performance at Villa and now see an opportunity for further budget cuts. They sent the Brazilian on loan to England with a €40m buyout option, which they plan to discuss this week with Coutinho and Villa.
There are concerns that while Coutinho and Villa have established a good relationship, the Brazilian may not want to move to the club permanently. The Catalan giants are also concerned that Villa may not be able to meet their €40m valuation for the Brazilian.
However, it is certain that Coutinho will not be a player for Barcelona next season, so the meeting will help the club plan for the summer either by negotiating with Villa or marketing it to other clubs that may be interested.
Coutinho talks about his life as a player at Aston Villa
Coutinho, who has also played for three of Europe’s biggest clubs at Inter Milan, Bayern Munich (on loan from Barcelona) and Liverpool, spoke about what it feels like to play for a team in a lowly city.
Coutinho said: “I really like the place here. I missed the Premier League and the people here. They treated me very well and I missed it. It’s good to be back here.
“The matches here are very intense so I like this kind of game. I have to adapt again, I’m doing my best in training and I’m improving from an intensity point of view. I think that’s the difference that I really like.
“In Spain it’s a different kind of game. In Barcelona you usually have more time with the ball and more control and these are the different things. I don’t want to live in the past, I’m here at a great club and I want to do my best and enjoy football. here.
The atmosphere in the stadium [Villa Park] Unbelievable, it’s amazing. I really missed the matches here in the Premier League because the atmosphere in the stadiums is really strong here.”