The end of Philippe Coutinho’s tenure at Aston Villa seems imminent. Thus, he may make a triumphant return to Vasco da Gama, the club he played for as a youngster. Villa have a contract with the Brazilian playmaker until 2026.

However, he is allegedly trying to get out of it early since he isn’t in manager Unai Emery’s long-term plans. The Spaniard has guided the Villa Park outfit to a first-ever Champions League berth with an unprecedented fourth-place finish in the Premier League.

He has made several changes to his team to improve it while still adhering to the Profit and Sustainability regulations. Thus, players with high salary demands, like Coutinho, may have to leave as a result of this fiscal restraint.

Where next for Coutinho?

Coutinho has seen a series of ups and downs throughout his career. He joined Inter from Brazil in 2008 but really came into his own at Liverpool. At Anfield, he was hailed as a Premier League genius.

His lavish transfer to Barcelona in 2018 fell flat, therefore four years later, he returned to England with Aston Villa. Coutinho had a bright start, but his form declined. As a result, he was no longer in Emery’s plans by the beginning of 2023.

Villa will now get the 31-year-old back after spending the season on loan to Qatari club Al Duhail because they didn’t want to renew his contract. Thus, a summer departure is inevitable given the lack of opportunities at Villa.

Negotiations with Vasco da Gama are moving along swimmingly; the Brazilian club is optimistic about re-signing Coutinho, according to Fabrizio Romano. Coutinho played his first professional season with the Rio de Janeiro side, so a return there would be like going home.

Coutinho is unlikely to be an Aston Villa player for much longer
Coutinho is unlikely to be an Aston Villa player for much longer

Coutinho is unlikely to be an Aston Villa player for much longer

Villa planning squad overhaul

Going back to Brazil may be the spark his career needs after a few rough seasons in Europe. In this possible move, both parties stand to gain. Coutinho gets a chance to reclaim his form in a familiar setting, while Villa gets to lower their salary cost.

Emery’s decision to cut ways with the veteran is in line with their long-term goals of stabilizing their finances and enhancing their roster. Coutinho will have a tough time finding a spot on the squad with players like Morgan Rogers, Emi Buendia, Jacob Ramsey, and Leon Bailey.

At the same time, the Englishmen will be able to bolster their roster in preparation for the Champions League campaign thanks to the funds from his departure.

The player is coordinating with all parties to cut relations with Villa, as he may leave the club in the first half of June, according to Brazilian reports. Supposedly, he is unable to go quickly to Vasco since he has not yet arranged the conditions of his departure.

After touching down in Brazil this weekend, Coutinho seemed to confirm his departure by speaking to waiting local journalists. He allegedly said, “Everyone already knows” what the summer has in store for him.

Photo credit: IMAGO / NurPhoto