Philippe Coutinho’s move from Aston Villa to Vasco da Gama was supposed to be relatively simple.

He’d go on loan and then at some point in the future, when everyone had forgotten about him, there’d be an agreement to make the move permanent.

That then changed to the possibility of Aston Villa and Coutinho agreeing to terminate the player’s contract, so the Brazilian could join Vasco as a free agent and on a permanent basis.

Things have dragged on, with wages one of the issues in the talks between the parties, but money isn’t the only problem.

Monday’s edition of Brazilian newspaper O Dia reports Coutinho is pressuring Vasco to sign two of his friends in football.

One is Josef de Souza, a midfielder who currently plays for Basaksehir. The other is a striker, free agent Alex Teixeira.

Obviously that would be a very unusual situation, and Vasco probably aren’t thrilled with the demands the Aston Villa owned player is making.

Still, it shouldn’t kill the deal, and Vasco president Pedrinho is quoted as saying: “Yesterday (Saturday), I met with Phillippe Coutinho’s representatives. The conversation was good and the negotiation continues.”

Aston Villa will probably be much happier when that contract termination is finalised and Coutinho, and his friends, are not their problem any longer.