As Philippe Coutinho prepares to leave Aston Villa for Vasco da Gama this summer, the Brazilian media now reveals that he could have ended up at their rivals instead.

According to Itatiaia, Botafogo was the club which moved first and made an approach for the 31-year-old.

It’s said they got to know all the conditions for a transfer, including the fee demanded by Aston Villa. The problem was the negative response from the player himself, and the offer was never made.

It seems like that would’ve been a better situation for the English club, because we’re talking about a sale in this instance. Now with Coutinho choosing to go to Vasco, who are in a worse financial standing, the Brazilian media has been saying the transfer is happening for free, with Aston Villa rescinding his contract to let him move.

Recent reports say that this process should be completed in the coming weeks, as the player is already in Brazil to speed up the process.

Aston Villa are surely disappointed to let him leave for free, but they also need to get rid of his salary, as he still has a contract with the club running until 2026.