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    Coutinho shuts down Aston Villa exit talk

    Philippe Coutinho has denied rumors that he wants to leave Aston Villa, while a Brazilian international club has criticized reports that he wants to leave as “false”.

    The former Liverpool and Barcelona playmaker first arrived at Villa Park in January on a short-term loan under Steven Gerrard, with whom he played alongside at Liverpool.

    A successful spell ensured a permanent off-season move from Barca, but Unai Emery took over at the Midlands after Gerrard’s sacking in October.

    Earlier this month, there were reports that the 30-year-old wanted to leave in the January transfer window, but Coutinho took to social media to deny the allegations.

    “Over the past few days, I have seen a lot of news with my name,” he said in an Instagram post. “The problem is that some lies have now begun, and I am here to clarify.

    “Never and at no time [have I] there was some conversation asking me to leave the club because I’m happy here and my family [are] too.

    “Now that I’ve recovered from my injury, I’m only focused on doing my best every day, playing [at] at a high level and help the club and my teammates achieve our goals.”

    So far, it has been a tough campaign for Coutinho, with form and injury causing him to lose his position in the Brazilian national team ahead of the World Cup.

    After scoring eight goals (five goals, three assists) in 19 Premier League games during his original loan spell, he has failed to score in 13 league games since the move became permanent.

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