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Barcelona in Coutinho talks with Aston Villa - reports

The Brazilian could go on loan

FC Barcelona V Real Betis Balompie - La Liga Santander Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barcelona are reportedly in talks with Aston Villa regarding a move that would see Philippe Coutinho spend the rest of the season on loan at Villa Park.

The Catalans are eager to get players off the wage bill, in order to register Ferran Torres, and it seems Coutinho could be one player who departs in January.

The Brazilian has long been linked with an exit but it seems he has finally been convinced he may be better off leaving Barcelona if he wants to play regularly, particularly with World 2022 Cup not too far away now.

Reports in Spain and England have confirmed that Barcelona are talking to Villa in a move which would see Coutinho play for former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard.

Villa may not be the only option with ESPN reporting Villa are one of five clubs. Everton are also mentioned, which would be fun given Coutinho’s Liverpool past, but it’s not clear which others teams have expressed an interest.

Xavi was asked about Coutinho’s situation at his pre-match press conference yesterday but insisted he hadn’t spoken with the Brazilian yet, although he did concede that players must leave in the January transfer window.

A return to the Premier League has always looked the most likely option for Coutinho, after he starred for Liverpool before moving to Barcelona, and could now become a reality for the 29-year-old.