Liverpool icon Coutinho set for SENSATIONAL return to former club as FSG deal mooted

Philippe Coutinho is being lined up for a sensational return to boyhood club Vasco da Gama with the Brazilian club confirming negotiations are underway for the former Liverpool playmaker. 

The former Reds star was formed in the Vasco academy before agreeing to join Inter Milan when he was aged only 16 and moving to Italy shortly after his 18th birthday. 

He could now be set for an emotional return, with Globo reporting that parent club Aston Villa are ready to cut Coutinho's contract up in order to facilitate a deal.  

On Thursday, Vasco president Pedrinho was facing the press to answer questions and the matter of Coutinho’s future came up. 

“It’s happening,” Pedrinho replied when asked whether talks were taking place with the 31-year-old. 

The 68-cap Brazilian signed for Villa on loan from Barcelona during the 2021-22 season before the deal was made permanent in the summer of 2022. 

However, he has got no part to play under Unai Emery and was shipped out on loan to Al-Duhail in Qatar during the summer transfer window.

Coutinho back with FSG?

The situation is complicated by Vasco’s uncertain ownership picture and Coutinho could actually find himself back under the Fenway Sports Group umbrella before long. 

Earlier this week, Vasco had their request to remove 777 Partners’ ownership accepted by Brazil courts, with control of the club passing back to club directors.

777 Partners agreed to buy Liverpool’s arch-rivals Everton back in September 2023 but the deal still hasn’t been completed. 

Everton Shareholders’ Association have recently written to present owner Farhad Moshiri imploring him to cancel the deal.

Liverpool owners FSG are now exploring a deal to buy Vasco, according to a report in Brazil. Globo claims that the American group has carried out its due diligence and that the Rio giants would become part of a potential multi-club network with Liverpool at the heart of it.

Coutinho warned against Liverpool exit

Coutinho was warned against leaving Liverpool for Barcelona by manager Jurgen Klopp, who declared that he would eventually have a statue built in his honour on Merseyside if he stuck around. 

An initial fee of £105 million was nonetheless agreed between the two clubs in January 2018, eventually rising to £142m, but Coutinho never came close to justifying that figure for a crisis-hit Catalan club

Liverpool, meanwhile, famously reinvested the Coutinho money on the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker, instigating a spree of success which included the 2019 Champions League and a first top-flight title in 30 years.

On paper the Brazilian had a decent spell at Camp Nou, playing his part in two LaLiga title wins and earning a Copa del Rey into the bargain. 

He also won the Champions League while on loan at Bayern Munich from Barca, even scoring twice against his own employers in the quarter-finals.

However, his star faded and those moves to Villa and Al-Duhail quickly followed. 

Whether it’s too late to resurrect his career, time will only tell. 

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