Where next for Philippe Coutinho? Former Liverpool star looks set for Premier League return

After falling out of favour at Camp Nou, Coutinho looks ready to move on from his failings in Spain and return to his former hunting ground, the Premier League.

Signed for more than £100million in 2018, Philippe Coutinho has failed to justify Barcelona's considerable outlay and now looks set to return to England with his tail between his legs.

The Brazilian made just 76 appearances for the Catalan side, netting 17 goals in the process. A season-long loan at Bayern Munich in 2019/20 was designed to help him rediscover his form, but it's only seen him drift further from the first team picture at Barcelona.

Now, with the 29-year-old looking set to leave this month, Planet Sport take a look at his potential destinations, with a number of Premier League clubs vying for his signature.

Aston Villa

Steven Gerrard Aston Villa Dec21

Current favourites, at 2/3, are Aston Villa who have climbed the Premier League standings under new boss Steven Gerrard.

A switch from Barcelona for Birmingham would reunite Coutinho with former team-mate Gerrard, who played alongside him at Anfield.

Having built up an impressive understanding as players, it follows that Gerrard will know how to get the best out of Coutinho as a manager.

So, with Coutinho desperately needing to revive his career, working with a familiar face might tempt him to Villa, who could yet reach a European spot.

It is likely to be a loan deal with an option to buy at the end of the season. Villa's owners have already shown their willingness to back the team financially, and acquiring Coutinho would be a major statement.

Tottenham

Harry Kane speaking to Tottenham manager, Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte's appointment has improved the club's form, but they still lack a creative spark.

With the duo of Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane up top, better service into them would take Spurs to the next level.

Giovanni Lo Celso and Dele Alli have struggled to make that role their own in recent seasons, and Conte isn't one to wait around - he'll want reinforcements, and at 4/1 Coutinho is certainly on his radar.

Although they can't promise Champions League qualification, they're certainly more likely to qualify than others in this list, and that could be a huge factor in Coutinho's decision.

Newcastle United

Newcastle United players huddle before the Premier League match at St. James' Park, Newcastle. Picture date: Sunday December 19, 2021.

After going after Kieran Trippier, Newcastle are now eyeing attacking reinforcements and Coutinho's availability makes him a target - he's 6/1 to fly to Tyneside this January.

The club has bucketloads of cash to spend, but not much time to get deals done. They need quality, and quickly.

Coutinho offers just that, and while other clubs will be hesitant to put money on the table for the Brazilian playmaker, Newcastle can afford to take risks.

Of course, any transfer is a two-way deal and Coutinho will be wary of joining a club that looks in danger of the drop, even if they do offer him unlimited riches.

It'd certainly be a risk for a career that is already on a downward trajectory. However, the rewards will be huge should he inspire the Magpies to safety. 

Arsenal

Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal

The red half of north London is also in the running, and at 8/1 they definitely can't be ruled out.

The Gunners have been linked to Coutinho plenty of times before, including back in 2019 when he ended up going on loan to Bayern Munich.

Mikel Arteta's fallout with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaves him in need of forward reinforcements and Coutinho's experience would inevitably help aid his emerging side's progression and development.

His eye-watering weekly wage may prove a stumbling block, however.

Everton

Rafa Benitez, Everton, sack race, manager

Rafa Benitez is on his last warning at Goodison Park, and is desperately in need of a saving grace.

For a former Liverpool manager to bring a former Reds midfielder to Everton to save himself from the sack would be past the point of irony, though.

The Toffees have been severely hampered by injuries this season, with both Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin struggling to piece together a consistent run of games.

They look devoid of creativity since the departure of James Rodriguez too, and so Coutinho's arrival would go some way to filling a gaping hole in the Everton squad.

It doesn't seem likely, but at 25/1 it isn't improbable. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

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