Coutinho will be Messi's teammate in Miami this time
|Philippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League group E match between FC Bayern München and FC Barcelona at Football Arena Munich on December 08, 2021 in Munich, Germany. (Image-Getty)
Inter Miami can be called Barcelona's 'alumni association'!
His two former Barca teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have signed up for Inter Miami with Lionel Messi in the last season of American football. Last December, Luis Suarez, another former Barca footballer, joined Messi, Busquets, Albad. This time, Philippe Coutinho is going to join Major League Soccer (MLS), according to the Spanish sports daily 'AS'.
31-year-old Coutinho's current club Aston Villa sent him on loan to Qatari club Al Duhail last September. That loan expired a few days ago. Al Duhail could also buy Coutinho if they wanted - Aston Villa also kept that option.
However, this Brazilian attacking midfielder could not perform as expected in the club. After joining the Doha club, he made just six appearances in the Qatar Stars League (QSL). Played 419 minutes in total in the league and scored 2 goals. 2 goals and 1 assist in three matches in the AFC Champions League but the team did nothing. Al Duhail has been eliminated from the group stage.
Coutinho was asked to return to parent club Aston Villa at the end of his loan spell after failing to impress at Al Duhail. However, he is not in Villa coach Unai Emery's plans to impress in the 2023-24 season in the English Premier League (currently second in the points table). AS reports that Unai Emery does not want to keep Coutinho in Villa's squad. Rather want to send on loan to another club.
Currently, the names of two MLS clubs - Inter Miami and Los Angeles Galaxy - have come into discussion. With former Barca teammates Messi-Suarez in Miami, Coutinho is more likely to go there. However, the media did not say anything about whether Miami will take Coutinho on loan from Aston Villa or buy it outright.
Miami can buy Coutinho if they want. Because, Canadian footballer Kamal Miller recently left Miami and joined Portland Timbers, another MLS club. With the departure of Miller, there is a vacancy for a foreign footballer. The club owned by David Beckham can therefore buy the Brazilian Coutinho to fill the space of a foreign footballer.
Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona in the best form of his career. After failing to win a title for Liverpool in five years, he originally decided to go to Barca.
Barca bought him from Liverpool for 13.5 million euros in 2018. But the Catalan couldn't adapt to the club's style of play and footballing culture. Injuries also began to hamper his career. The knee has to be operated three times. Although he recovered, he did not regain his old rhythm.
While at Barca, Coutinho also went on to play on the fringes at Bayern Munich and Aston Villa. In 2022, Villa bought him from Barca for 2 million euros. Even after returning to English football, he continued to suffer from injuries and lack of rhythm. At one point, the coach was left out of Emery's plan. He also became a member of the national team in Brazil. He was last seen in the country's jersey in 2022.