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Barcelona’s Coutinho to make Aston Villa loan move permanent

Philippe Coutinho is to stay at Premier League club Aston Villa beyond the end of the season, bringing to a close an unhappy spell at LaLiga giants Barcelona.

Update:
Philippe Coutinho is to stay at Premier League club Aston Villa beyond the end of the season, bringing to a close an unhappy spell at LaLiga giants Barcelona.
CRAIG BROUGHREUTERS

Barcelona flop Philippe Coutinho will join Aston Villa permanently on a £17million (€20m) end-of-season deal, it has been announced.

Coutinho moved to Villa on loan in January

The Brazil international has enjoyed a resurgent half-season loan spell at Villa Park since January and has signed a contract until June 2026 after being effectively frozen out of starting contention at Camp Nou.

The deal, which will see Barça paid 50 per cent of any future sale of the player, brings to a close an unhappy four-and-a-half year tenure with the Blaugrana, who originally signed him in 2018 from Liverpool for a club-record nine-figure sum.

Despite success in LaLiga in terms of trophies, winning two titles and two Copas del Rey, the playmaker struggled to slot in with the Catalan outfit and spent the 2019-20 season on loan with Bayern Munich, where he won a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble, although the German giants declined to make the move permanent.

It has been his return to England under former Reds team-mate Steven Gerrard that has arguably seen him hit his best form since leaving Anfield, though.

Coutinho has played more than twice as many minutes with Villa than he did with Barca this season, and has notched four goals in 16 appearances for the Midlands club.

Villa boss Gerrard welcomes “brilliant signing”

Gerrard said: “This is a brilliant signing for Aston Villa. Phil is a model professional and his impact on the group has been very clear since he joined in January.

“With the way he conducts himself on and off the pitch, he’s also a valuable role model for our younger players who can only benefit from his experience.

“As we look to build towards next season, it is incredible to work at a club that executes its business so decisively and smoothly.”

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