Aston Villa ‘consider’ intriguing transfer swap deal involving Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho hasn’t featured for Aston Villa since their 4-0 defeat to Newcastle last month
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Aston Villa are considering replacing Philippe Coutinho in January, according to The Brazilian joined the club permanently in the summer.

Coutinho enjoyed a successful loan spell in the Midlands when he joined from Barcelona in January, scoring five goals and providing three assists in 19 appearances. However, his form quickly turned and he has failed to impress this season - managing only six starts and zero goal contributions in the league. It only got worse for the midfielder who suffered a hamstring injury and was absent for Villa’s previous three matches and will also miss the World Cup, though it seems unlikely that his form would have earned him a place in Tite’s squad.

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Aston Villa are now thought to be looking to bolster their attack and the report claims that they are considering replacing Coutinho with Inter Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu. It’s claimed that the Premier League club would ‘gladly’ use the Brazilian in an exchange deal to tempt Inter into selling the 28-year-old in January.

Calhanoglu joined the Italian giants from their bitter rivals AC Milan on a free transfer last summer and went on to shine last season, claiming 19 goal contributions in Serie A. He has since carried his form into the 2022-23 campaign and has netted twice and grabbed four assists in 14 matches, whilst also scoring the only goal in their win over Barcelona last month.

While Villa clearly see the Turkey international as an upgrade on the struggling Coutinho and it is believed he would suit the style Unai Emery hopes to implement, the idea of a swap deal appears to be less appealing to Inter Milan. The Serie A club are reportedly not even considering the move, with Coutinho’s high wages an issue for them. The former Barcelona star became one of Villa’s highest paid players when he joined and is thought to be earning around £125,000 per week.

With neither Coutinho or Calhanoglu attending the World Cup this winter, Emery’s side will no doubt look to tempt them into a potential deal - while it is unclear whether they would consider removing the Brazilian from the equation and forking out for Calhanoglu instead. The midfielder’s contract at the San Siro expires in 2024 and so could be available for cheaper next summer, if he doesn’t intend to extend his stay with Inter Milan.

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