Coutinho joins Espanyol on loan

Espanyol has signed Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho on loan from Inter Milan for the remainder of the Spanish league season.

The 19-year-old Coutinho says the move will help him gain playing time in preparation for the London Olympics this summer.

"I’ve come here to pick up my stuff and say goodbye to everyone," Coutinho said on Monday to Sky Sport Italia.

"However, I will only be away for five months.

"I need to play and I think I can do well at Espanyol before returning here.

"I would like to thank all of the fans but I will be back. I’m an Inter supporter myself and I think we can win the league this season."

Coutinho’s signing gives Espanyol an attack-minded player to fill in for injured striker Alvaro Vazquez and midfielder Segio Garcia.

Espanyol, which is tied for fourth in the table, also signed Nigerian striker Kalu Uche from Swiss club Neuchatel to a deal that keeps him at the club until the end of the 2012-13 season.