Philippe Coutinho’s days at Aston Villa could be numbered already. The Brazilian returned to the Premier League at the hands of Steven Gerrard, who took over at Villa last season. But his dismissal condemned the ex-Barcelona midfielder and the arrival of Unai Emery to the Villa Park bench could force him out.
Barça managed to transfer Coutinho in May, after a successful loan spell in England at the backend of last season. The cost of the operation was €20 million, half of what had been agreed originally with Aston Villa in case the player joined the English side permanently after his loan.
It was a long way from the €160 million (between fixed sums and add-ons) that Barça paid to Liverpool in January 2018 for Coutinho. His performances at Camp Nou were well below expectations and he never managed to get rid of the tag of the cost of the transfer. Meanwhile, his price was devaluing, flying downhill without brakes.
However, a departure in January or in the summer could bring more liquidity to Barça’s coffers. The Catalan club reserved 50% of any future capital gain. However, the transfer needs to exceed the 20 million previously paid. Therefore, if Aston Villa sells him for €30 million, Barça would receive €5 million.
Despite a good first stretch last year, Coutinho’s smile has faded again and this season he has made several substitutions. In fact, he has not yet made his scoring contribution this term: zero goals and zero assists. At the moment, the only team that has been interested in him is Flamengo, but on loan. Villa expect more offers to arrive in the form of a transfer.