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Espanyol sign Brazilian starlet on loan


Highly-rated young Brazilian forward Philippe Coutinho signed on loan with Primera Liga side Espanyol till the end of the season from Serie A giants Inter Milan on Monday.

The 19-year-old - a member of the Brazil team that won last year's Under-20 world title and capped once by the senior side, arrived at the fifth-placed Primera Liga side with Nigerian Kalu Uche from bankrupt Swiss outfit Neuchatel Xamax.

Coutinho initially made a positive start to his Inter career after joining from Vasco da Gama at the beginning of last season.

But injuries, a loss of form and the return from injury of more established players gradually saw him fall out of favour.

After two goals in 19 league appearances, he has decided to go on loan to try to find regular first team football.

"I'm going to Espanyol for five months and I hope to do well," he said.

"I need to play to make the Olympic team but then I'll come back to Inter. It will only be five months.

"I support Inter and I'll support my team-mates until they win the title."

Nigerian-born centre forward Kalu Uche - who has a Spanish passport - arrives from Swiss side Neuchatel Xamax after they filed for bankruptcy last week.

Uche, 29, signed a contract which will see him through to the end of the 2012/2013 campaign.