By Dan Carter

28th Aug, 2023 | 9:10am

Philippe Coutinho in 'advanced' discussions to leave Aston Villa - Fabrizio Romano

Philippe Coutinho is in “advanced” discussions to leave Aston Villa this summer after Al Duhail made an approach, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The transfer specialist took to Twitter on Sunday (27 August) to report that the Brazilian midfielder was of interest to the Qatari side, but they were yet to submit a formal bid to try and secure his services.

Coutinho has held talks already with Al Duhail with discussions over personal terms already advanced and there is an expectation that talks will continue over the next few days to decide whether or not a transfer will be completed before the window closes.

The 31-year-old missed Unai Emery’s side’s win over Burnley having picked up an injury against Everton, but may have already played his last game in claret and blue, with an expectation around Villa Park that he will depart before the 1 September deadline.

Free up funds

Coutinho is capable of being a magical player and has shown that across Europe in what has been an impressive club career so far. Still, he hasn’t been the same player in his second stint in the Premier League as he was during his time at Anfield.

The opportunity to likely earn a reasonable transfer fee for the Brazilian, whose contract runs until 2026, as well as shifting one of the more significant wages at the Midland’s club off of the bill should see Villa sanction the sale at the right price.

Last season, Coutinho only managed 22 appearances across all competitions and while his experience would likely be helpful in Europe for the upcoming campaign, Emery can’t rely on him to be the difference maker anymore.

With only a matter of days left in the transfer window, adding a hefty fee and wages onto the wage bill which has already been reduced via the sales of Cameron Archer and Aaron Ramsey, means that there is every chance Aston Villa can get one last signing through the door.

In other Aston Villa news, Ollie Watkins’ European hat trick showed any doubters why the Conference League can be so helpful