Express & Star

Aston Villa's Philippe Coutinho attracting interest from Brazil

Villa midfielder Philippe Coutinho is attracting interest from Flamengo in his homeland of Brazil, according to reports in South America.

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Reports in Brazil suggest the reigning Copa Libertadores champions want to sign Coutinho on loan to boost their Club World Cup campaign next year.

Coutinho, who has missed the World Cup because of a thigh injury, is yet to score or register an assist in his 13 appearances for the club this season – which has included only six Premier League starts.

The 30-year-old was signed by previous head coach Steven Gerrard but has not begun a game since October 10 at Nottingham Forest and due to injury is yet to feature at all under new boss Unai Emery.

It is believed Villa would ideally prefer a permanent transfer – but would consider a loan deal as well.