Aston Villa star Philippe Coutinho has been ruled out for up to 10 weeks and will miss the World Cup 2022.
The Brazil international has suffered a quadriceps injury and his best-case scenario is a seven-week return.
The Brazilian playmaker has already faced an uphill battle to make the squad due to a loss of form and lack of regular action, but injury has now ruled the 30-year-old out of Qatar 2022.
Coutinho was not in the squad for Aston Villa’s 3-1 win over Manchester United and new boss Unai Emery said he would not be available for Thursday’s Carabao Cup tie at Old Trafford or next weekend’s Premier League game at Brighton.
The Spaniard was extremely pessimistic about Coutinho’s chances of making it to the tournament in Qatar, which starts in less than two weeks, and it has now been confirmed that he will miss the tournament through injury.
Coutinho joined Villa on loan from Barcelona last January amid much fanfare and despite his mixed performances, Villa decided to sign him permanently for £17m.
The move for Coutinho was pushed through by Steven Gerrard, who was sacked last month and has yet to produce the expected results.
This latest injury casts further question marks over what his long-term role at the club may be under Emery.