Aston Villa

Philippe Coutinho: How much Aston Villa must pay as Gerrard hints at permanent transfer

Jamie Spencer
Philippe Coutinho has already made an impact at Aston Villa
Philippe Coutinho has already made an impact at Aston Villa / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has hinted that he wants the club to sign Philippe Coutinho on a permanent deal from Barcelona in the summer.

Coutinho arrived at Villa Park on loan in January until the end of the season, reuniting with ex-Liverpool teammate Gerrard in a bid to kickstart his career after falling hopelessly out of favour at Camp Nou in recent seasons.

The Brazilian’s impact has already been seen and he was in top form at the weekend as Villa dismantled a Southampton side that were on a good run until they came up against him.

Signing Coutinho permanently would be a big boost for Villa in the longer term as they aim to climb the Premier League table and return to Europe for the first time since being promoted in 2019.

Gerrard already knows Coutinho well from the time they spent together at Anfield and has explained that he wants the club to be a ‘change of scenery’ for the player. The boss also described him as a ‘game-changer’ who is ‘giving belief to his teammates’.

“We want to be that for him because if we want to get to where we want to be, we need to build it around talents like Phil, because at his best he is a high-level player,” the Gerrard said.

“I don’t control transfer fees or wages. All I can do is give my opinion to Johan Lange (sporting director), Christian Purslow (chief executive) and the owners. They are watching the games and they will make the final decision. Phil has shown what he is capable of so far.”

Coutinho’s original loan deal with Villa included an option to buy for €40m (£33m). It has been reported by Fabrizio Romano that club officials are happy with the player so far but are waiting until the end of the season in May before making a final decision on his future with them.

Barcelona, still in need of cash to reinvest in rebuilding their own squad, want to sell.

A fee of £33m would make Coutinho one of the most expensive players in Villa history, falling slightly Emiliano Buendia in the club's all-time record list.

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