Shock transfer request Philippe Coutinho emerges after Aston Villa blow
Philippe Coutinho could have signed for Everton this month if Rafa Benitez hadn’t said no, according to the latest reports.
Aston Villa moved quickly to bring the Brazilian to the club early in the window, with Coutinho joining former team-mate Steven Gerrard at Villa Park.
The 29-year-old was loaned out until the end of the season by Barcelona and made an instant impact with his goalscoring debut against Manchester United.
The Brazilian was in the right place to score Jacob Ramsey’s cross with just nine minutes remaining to give Villa a point in the 2-2 draw.
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Coutinho could make his first start for the club on the weekend’s trip to Everton as Gerrard’s men look to capitalize on the fightback against United.
As the Mirror report, Coutinho could have played against Villa for Everton instead, if it wasn’t for Benitez.
It is said that a deal has been agreed between Barcelona and the Toffees for the player, but after insisting on having the final say on all transfers, Benitez blocked the move, allowing Villa to pounce.
The revelation comes after a reported rift in relations between the former Everton manager and new Aston Villa signing Lucas Digne contributed to the full-back’s departure from Goodison Park.
Digne completed a £25million transfer to Villa last week, making his debut in the draw against Man United.
Everton suffered a 2-1 loss to bottom-run Norwich City on Saturday, a result that proved to be the last straw for Benitez amid fan unrest.
The Spanish coach left the club at the weekend, leaving the Toffees without a manager as they step up preparations for Villa’s visit.