BRIGHTON AND HOVE, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 2, 2017: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia during the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the American Express Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Coutinho could seal Premier League return by weekend – Gerrard among suitors

Philippe Coutinho has been tipped to return to the Premier League by this weekend, with six English clubs including Steven Gerrard‘s Aston Villa interested in a deal.

Coutinho has been away from England for four years, and since then his stock has fallen dramatically, over spells with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

A £142 million signing for Barcelona in 2018, the Brazilian is now expected to depart the Nou Camp for considerably less as the Spanish side look to cut their wage bill.

Liverpool have, unsurprisingly, been linked, with Goal in Brazil claiming they are one of the clubs weighing up a move, while multiple sources in England have reported Villa’s interest.

According to BBC Sport‘s Phil McNulty, Gerrard is a “huge admirer” of Coutinho, who he played with for two-and-a-half years at Anfield, with the Guardian‘s Fabrizio Romano claiming a loan deal is in the works.

Sky Sports add that Villa are one of six Premier League clubs pursuing the 29-year-old, who they claim is “set to agree a move” back to England “by this weekend.”

“The former Liverpool player wants to return to England and sign for an ambitious club where he can play regularly,” they report, with it claimed that Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle hold an interest.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 28, 2017: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia is embraced by manager J¸rgen Klopp as he is substituted immediately after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While the two other Premier League sides remain unnamed, it seems unlikely that Liverpool are among them, despite the success Coutinho enjoyed under Jurgen Klopp.

However, there is a small chance a loan or permanent transfer could be agreed with Barcelona that would offset the £142 million they are still paying off in instalments.

Goal did, of course, claim that both Liverpool and Everton were in pursuit, which would round off that six-strong group from the English top flight.

Coutinho joined the Reds from Inter Milan in an £8.5 million deal nine years ago, going on to score 54 goals and lay on 45 assists in 201 appearances.