Aston Villa loan Barcelona midfielder until end of season



Friday January 7, 2022 21:15 GMT

Philippe Coutinho joined Aston Villa on loan from Barcelona until the end of the season.

The deal, which is subject to the player passing a medical exam and receiving a work permit, also includes a purchase option and Coutinho will travel to Birmingham within the next 48 hours.

Villa pays less than 50 percent of Coutinho’s weekly salary, plus bonuses, Sky Sports News was informed, and he even accepted a pay cut, with other clubs offering offers which would have seen him earn 100% of his salary at Barca.

Coutinho wanted to return to England and play football regularly and see Villa as an ambitious club that is building something special for the future.

The Brazilian midfielder knows manager Steven Gerrard well having spent two and a half years with him at Liverpool, and he is said to already know a lot about Villa and his team.

Villa has the option to buy Coutinho for £ 33million in the summer.

A source said Sky Sports News There was also a chance Coutinho had returned to Liverpool this month and would have been open to the move.

However, it is understood that Liverpool weren’t looking to move for the 29-year-old during the January transfer window.

Coutinho was signed by Barcelona from Liverpool for a club record of £ 146million in January 2018, but struggled to hold onto a first-team spot at the Camp Nou and spent the 2019/20 season in loan to Bayern Munich.

In terms of outings, the Villa Wesley forward has joined the Brazilian side of the Internacional on loan for the remainder of the season.

Gerrard: Coutinho a series winner

Speaking on Thursday ahead of Coutinho’s signing, manager Steven Gerrard said:

“Sixty-three caps for Brazil, a series winner, it was incredible at Liverpool so I can understand why he is linked with so many football clubs,” said Gerrard.

“I can understand why a lot of fans across the country are talking about him. I don’t think you get a magician’s nickname if you’re not a special footballer so he’s someone I respect. amazing for.

“But I don’t want to add to any speculation, because he belongs to Barcelona.”

Analysis: Coutinho could fill the Grealish void

Jack Grealish once commented that Philippe Coutinho was one of his favorite players to watch on YouTube. “He’s still got that one, you know, where he goes left and falls like a little shimmy, which I like to do myself.” Now the journey is complete.

While Grealish has perfected his craft enough to win a £ 100million transfer to Manchester City, Coutinho returns to the Premier League to replace him at Aston Villa. If the Brazilian can repeat the form that brought him from Liverpool to Barcelona, ​​it will be an ideal signing.

There are similarities between the two players. Grealish praised Coutinho’s ability to “get past players like they’re not there” and that’s what Villa loved so much about his former captain. They missed having this player who can shake things up this season.

Is the Coutinho idolized by Grealish still around? At 29, it’s time to get back to his best form under former teammate Steven Gerrard, but his career has drifted at Barcelona. If, like Grealish, Coutinho takes inspiration from being the lead man of Villa Park, there is plenty to do with it.

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