Aston Villa has confirmed the signing of Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona until the end of the season. The agreement is subject to a work permit and a medical comes with an option to buy at the end of the season. Villa will pay a part of the Brazilian’s wages Barcelona announced. The player was interested in a return to England with Villa being an ambitious club with a new manager. Coutinho played with Gerrard for two and a half years during his time with Liverpool. Coutinho joined Barcelona for a club-record £146m in January 2018 but has not been able to nail down a place in the first team.
“Sixty-three caps for Brazil, a serial winner, was incredible at Liverpool, so I can understand why he’s linked to a lot of football clubs,” Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard said about Philippe Coutinho. “I can understand why a lot of supporters up and down the country are speaking about him. I don’t think you get a nickname as a magician if you’re not a special footballer, so he’s someone I have an incredible amount of respect for. But I don’t want to add to any speculation, because he belongs to Barcelona.”