Coutinho in line for Premier League return

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Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho could be set for a return to England and the Premier League, with various clubs interested in signing him this January. Aston Villa have emerged as the frontrunners to secure his signature and have already discussed a possible loan deal for the former Liverpool star.

The Brazilian has made 16 appearances for the Blaugrana this season, but mostly from the substitute bench, and he is keen on a move away this month in order to secure more playing time ahead of the World Cup in Qatar. Coutinho has failed to convince new Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez that he deserves a major role, and the Catalan club therefore want to shift him from the books in order to be able to register Ferran Torres, as well as other potential arrivals.

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard played alongside Coutinho at Liverpool and is keen on a reunion, with multiple sources reporting that the clubs are negotiating a loan deal. Gerrard is known to have been a big admirer of the 29-year-old when he was at Liverpool and has praised him highly in the past.

Other clubs interested

Everton have also been linked with a move for Coutinho, despite his past association with their arch-rivals, and are also said to have been in touch with Barcelona. Liverpool themselves are also believed to be keeping an eye on the situation, while two other teams - reported as being Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur - are also said to be interested in the attacking midfielder.

Coutinho joined Barcelona in 2018 for a club-record fee but has generally failed to live up to expectations. He had been keen to make the most of a second chance at the Camp Nou this season, but he is desperate to make the Brazil squad for Qatar 2022 and it seems his best chance of doing so is by leaving Catalonia.

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