Aston Villa announced today, Friday, the official signing of Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona, on loan until the end of the season, with the possibility of including him permanently.
Thus, the Brazilian player becomes the first deals for the current coach of the team, Steven Gerrard.
Coutinho had previously collaborated with Gerrard when the two were playing for Liverpool before the England player retired, and the Brazilian moved to Barcelona later.
Aston Villa’s statement said: “To complete the deal, all that remains is for Coutinho to pass a medical examination and obtain a work permit, in addition to the possibility of including him permanently.”
“The player will travel to Birmingham within 48 hours,” the statement concluded.
The 29-year-old moved to Barcelona in January 2018, but failed to secure a key place for him to go on loan in 2019 to Bayern Munich.
Bayern did not sign him permanently, so he returned to Barcelona and from there he moved to Aston Villa.
With Barcelona, Coutinho participated in 106 games, during which he scored 25 goals and assisted 14, winning five championships.
The five championships are two titles for the Spanish League, the same for the Cup, and one title for the local Super Cup.
Aston Villa coach Steven Gerrard said of the Brazilian player:
He was amazing in Liverpool. I can understand why so many supporters across the country are talking about it. I don’t think you get the title of magician if you are not a distinguished football player.
“He’s someone I have an incredible amount of respect for.”
How much should Aston Villa pay to sign Coutinho permanently?
In fact, despite being a household name of course, Coutinho has struggled for several years now, and it’s a rather risky transition.
He enjoyed a semi-decent loan period with Bayern Munich.
However, the 29-year-old has previously proven that he can be an outstanding player with the potential to feature in the Premier League.
If his loan spell goes well, could Villa be interested in signing Coutinho permanently?
If they wish to do so, they would have to pay £33m at the end of the loan: