As reported by Spanish outlet SPORT, Aston Villa midfielder Phillipe Coutinho looks set to remain in England next season – and he’s changed his mind on a potential move to St James’ Park.
Back in January, we were regularly linked with a move for the Brazilian international before he joined the Birmingham side on loan, but the player was apparently not interested in signing for a club near the relegation zone.
However, with parent club Barcelona looking to sell him this summer and Aston Villa undecided on their option to sign him permanently, it’s said that the 29-year-old could yet end up on Tyneside alongside South American compatriots Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton.
I’d take this with a pinch of salt for now, but SPORT claim we’d be willing to pay the £33million fee Barca are demanding and would match his current wages.
With our recent run of good form and the exciting performances of Bruno Guimaraes – a Brazilian teammate – Coutinho’s head may very well have been turned and reports state he is keen on the move should Villa be unwilling to offer a deal.
While there is no questioning the attacking midfielder’s ability, there is some doubt on whether he would have the same passion and hard working mentality that Howe has instilled into a lot of the players since his arrival, with Bruno’s mixture of ability AND effort a prime example of the type of player he wants at the club.