By Anthony Onifade

4th Sep, 2023 | 4:10pm

Philippe Coutinho now closes in on Aston Villa exit as new footage emerges on Al-Duhail medical

Aston Villa star Philippe Coutinho may have already emptied out his Villa Park locker for good as a new footage emerged of him in Doha.

CBS journalist Ben Jacobs, took to his personal Twitter account (4 September) to post Coutinho spotted in Doha as he closes in on his long-awaited Aston Villa exit to join Qatar outfit Al-Duhail.

Italian transfer guru Fabrizio Romano shared on 26 August that the Brazilian maestro had reached an agreement with the Qatari outfit on personal terms but there were still no agreement between the two clubs.

Romano also shared that Turkish outfit Besiktas and Spanish side Sevilla had approached Aston Villa to sign Coutinho but it seems as if the Brazilian has already made his decision after being pictured in Doha to undergo his medical with Al-Duhail.

It is believed the deal will be a one-year loan with the option of a further year, but given the difficulties the Brazilian has faced at the club over the past nine months, it seems as if he has already emptied his Villa Park locker for good.

After the long-term injury to Emiliano Buendia, there were certainly chances of Coutinho remaining at Villa Park to fill that void but with every passing news regarding his immediate future, that looks incredibly unlikely.

And the latest signing of Galatasaray forward Nicolo Zaniolo on a season-long loan has somewhat pushed Coutinho out the Aston Villa exit door.

Coutinho signed for Villa for a big-money £17million fee last summer from Barcelona after a successful loan spell with the club the season before where he hit eight goal involvements (five goals and three assists) from 16 Premier League starts (19 appearances in total).

However, since then, the former Liverpool player’s form and confidence have taken an incredible hit, with injuries proving the decisive factor, only making just three starts since the turn of 2023.

In fact, Coutinho’s star has sadly been on the wane over the past few seasons and the 2022-23 campaign did indicate a player who struggles to influence a game like he used to.

The Premier League intensity always seems to overwhelm him when he takes to the pitch as evidenced by the injury he picked up in his latest Villa appearance during the 4-0 win over Everton where he was only on the field for 21 minutes [SofaScore], which suggests he may already be past his best at the age of 31.

A Qatari move may just prove the best decision he’s made in a long while now but it is clear his Aston Villa career is now at a permanent end even if his exit may be temporary.

The best solution for all parties.

In other Aston Villa news, Emery may already have a transfer regret as one of his star players continues his worrying barren spell.