Transfer News: Top Aston Villa Star Completes Loan Move To Al Duhail In Qatar

Image of plaque on wall at Aston Villa FC.

Image of plaque on wall at Aston Villa FC. Credit: steve buchan/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

ASTON VILLA’S Brazilian midfield star Philippe Coutinho has completed a loan move to Qatar Stars League club Al Duhail in the Middle East.

His departure from Villa Park was announced exclusively on Friday, September 8, by the respected Italian football transfer expert, Fabrizio Romano.

He tweeted: ‘Official, exclusive story confirmed. Qatar side Al Duhail have completed Philippe Coutinho deal from Aston Villa  Loan move, 100% salary covered’.

Romano reported earlier that 31-year-old Coutinho had rejected offers from Real Betis in Spain’s La Liga as well as the Turkish giants, Besiktas. He was under contract with the Premier League outfit until 2026.

Coutinho joined Villa from Barcelona

After initially joining Villa on loan from Barcelona, the Brazilian star made an instant impact in his first season with the Midlands club. He subsequently joined on a permanent basis.

He was brought in by his former Liverpool teammate and captain Steven Gerrard during his spell in charge at Villa Park. Despite the fact that Barca’s £142m record signing in 2018 spent the bulk of his time at Camp Nou on the treatment table, his arrival in the Midlands was hailed as something of a coup.

While on loan, he bagged five goals and provided three assists during the 2021-22 season.  However, last season, he scored just one league goal in 20 appearances in all competitions.

As Gerrard struggled to get his players to perform, the former England midfielder found himself out of a job last October and was ultimately replaced by Unai Emery. 

Coutinho also suffered more injury problems and only played twice under the new Spanish manager. A thigh injury sustained only two weeks before the start of the tournament kept Coutinho out of Brazil’s squad for the Qatar World Cup in December.

Coutinho ghas 68 caps for Brazil

The elegant midfielder has picked up 68 caps for his country, with a goal tally of 21. His last goal for the South Americans came in a 5-1 thrashing of South Korea last June.

He joins Al Duhail – coached by the Argentine legend, Hernan Crespo – with the club lying third in the Qatar Stars League table, two points behind the leaders, Al Rayyan.

They also signed Spanish forward Rodrigo Moreno from Leeds United during the transfer window, along with the Brazilian midfielder Thiago Mendes.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at