Aston Villa attacker Philippe Coutinho is the subject of interest from Flamengo, but Unai Emery will only let him go if a few demands are met.
Coutinho returned to the Premier League with a lot of promise behind him. Indeed, in his first spell in the league at Liverpool, he was one of the league’s best players.
Of course, that is why Barcelona paid around £116million for the Brazilian.
While Coutinho he did not pull up any trees at Barcelona, Coutinho was decent. He did have a successful loan spell with Bayern Munich, where he contributed to 20 goals, including six in the triumphant Champions League campaign.
Given he had shown his form in a few spells previously, especially in the Premier League, there was a buzz around Villa when he arrived.
It seemed justified after his first three games in a Villans shirt, too. Indeed, Coutinho scored twice – including a debut goal against Manchester United – and assisted twice in those games.
However, his numbers have dropped off since that time. Indeed, he has been directly involved in just four goals for Villa since his opening three games.
Furthermore, in 13 games in all competitions this season, he has not been involved in a single goal.
Brazilian return a potential for Coutinho
That Emery took charge following the sacking of Steven Gerrard could spell trouble for Coutinho. His former teammate brought him to the club, but Emery might want to go in a different direction.
Coutinho has been injured since Emery took charge, so it is unclear whether or not he would play him. However, interim manager Aaron Danks did not start the Brazilian in either game he took charge of before Emery got the job.
The former Villarreal manager might want some new signings. Villa have been linked with Nicolas Jackson, who Emery managed in his previous job.
That could directly impact Coutinho, given they operate in the same areas.
However, he might soon be on his way out the Villa exit door anyway. According to Coluna do Fla, Brazilian side Flamengo are keen on the attacker.
Emery sets out Villa demands
However, Flamengo want to take him on board on an initial loan spell, as per the report. It suggests Villa would not accept that, as they would prefer to sell Coutinho.
The Villans also have in mind an ideal formula for a transfer. Indeed, any interested side would apparently need to pay the fee in two instalments.
Whether or not that deters Flamengo, or any other side, remains to be seen.
But that Coutinho’s contract with Villa runs until 2026 means they are in a strong position regarding a transfer.