Aston Villa’s Coutinho joins Qatar’s Al-Duhail on loan

Brazilian forward Philippe Coutinho joined Qatari side Al-Duhail on a season-long loan from Aston Villa on Friday.

Coutinho has fallen out of favour at the Premier League club after initially impressing following his loan move from Barcelona last year.

The 31-year-old eventually made a permanent £17 million ($21 million) move to Villa, but mustered only one goal last season and made just two substitute appearances this term.

Coutinho was close to tears after suffering a hamstring injury in Villa’s 4-0 win against Everton in August in what proved his last appearance for the club.

Coutinho was able to join Al-Duhail despite the Premier League transfer window closing last week because the Qatari deadline is not until September 18.

“Aston Villa can confirm Philippe Coutinho has completed a season-long loan move to Al-Duhail,” a club statement said.

“The Brazilian signed for Villa on loan initially in January 2022 and immediately sparkled in claret and blue, scoring on his debut against Manchester United.

“His impressive performances would later see his move to Villa Park from Barcelona turn permanent and he has made 43 appearances for the club, scoring six goals.”

Coutinho starred for Liverpool from 2013 to 2018, which persuaded Barcelona to pay more than £100 million for his services in 2018.

Al-Duhail are the reigning Qatari champions having won the Qatar Stars League last season.

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