Sources: Aston Villa grant permission for Steven Gerrard favourite to leave in January
Aston Villa are willing to sell Philippe Coutinho in January – just a year after his arrival, sources have told Football Insider.
The playmaker, 30, has slipped down the Villa pecking order this season despite his initial loan being converted into a permanent deal in the summer.
Coutinho faces the prospect of even less game time under Unai Emery than he did under former boss Steven Gerrard, who had been so excited to lure him from Barcelona last year.
The initial gloss of the Brazilian’s arrival has now worn off and been replaced by a darker reality.
Coutinho has started just six of Villa’s Premier League matches this season and completed 90 minutes on only one occasion.
The Midlands giants have granted permission to Coutinho’s agent Kia Joorabchian to find him a new club in January.
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Coutinho hit the ground running when he first arrived at Villa Park, scoring and assisting twice in his first three Premier League appearances.
However, his form soon dried up as he only scored one over the final 11 games of the season.
His form mirrored Villa’s as the side only won two games from those 11 at the back end of the campaign.
This form has continued into the current season with Coutinho failing to score or assist in any competition so far.
He is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury and it is not known when he will return to first-team action.
In other news, Man United have “concrete interest” in signing Aston Villa star Emiliano Martinez.