Sky Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio is reporting that a €10 million offer for Philippe Coutinho has been rejected by Inter Milan. The offer also included a €2 million bonus to be paid to Coutinho. Aston Villa's interest in Coutinho was confirmed by the player and his agent earlier today.
If Coutinho is genuinely interested in leaving he could always attempt to force Inter's hand, but given his lack of first-team experience such a strategy may not be especially wise or effective. If Villa really want Coutinho, the bid could be upped. Or the whole thing could be over and done with. The odds are quite good that we'll find out quite soon.
While it's disappointing to see this bid rejected, it is encouraging that Lambert is being given money to spend and that he's targeting a player that has as much potential as Coutinho. Unless you believe the club is willing to spend their entire transfer budget on one player, this would seem to rubbish the idea that Lambert has only £10 million to spend in the window. Lambert has long maintained that the board was more than willing to pay out large transfer fees so long as the wage budget was kept in check, and this would seem to back that up as well.
Coutinho is a very good young player and has tremendous potential. He'd also fill a huge need on this squad right away and provide an immediate upgrade to the team's attack. Inter Milan has a price that they would be willing to pay; so long as it's not extortionate and doesn't prevent other areas of need from being addressed, here's to hoping Villa is willing to meet it.