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Soccer

Philippe Coutinho close to making permanent switch from Barcelona to Aston Villa

Coutinho is close to completing his move to Aston Villa after an unsuccessful spell at Barcelona.

Kieran Quaile
Update:
BURNLEY, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Philippe Coutinho of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Burnley and Aston Villa at Turf Moor on May 7, 2022 in Burnley, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMAGetty

Philippe Coutinho is close to making a permanent move to Aston Villa. The Brazilian remains on loan at Villa and looks set to commit his future to Steven Gerrard’s side.

The Premier League club have a non-mandatory option to buy the former Liverpool player for €40 million. Mundo Deportivo report that Barça are about to sell Coutinho to Villa for a fee between €15 and €20 million. The sale will remove one of the club’s highest wage bills.

Gerrard’s interest

Since Coutinho moved to Birmingham on 7 January, Aston Villa boss Steve Gerrard spoke about his admiration for the player and his interest in signing him. The Villa board have listened to Gerrard and are set to add him to their squad for the 2022/23 season.

“We want Coutinho here,” the former England international said yesterday of his former Liverpool team-mate. The 29-year-old was a substitute against Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday. He came on in the 80th minute but Gerrard said: “Philippe has understood, he’s played a lot of games in a row”.

According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, the English club agreed to pay 65 per cent of the Brazilian’s wages. Sources at Barcelona say that Coutinho’s departure meant the club saved €7 million.

Tough spell at Camp Nou

Coutinho signed for Barça on 6 January 2018, having tried unsuccessfully in the summer of 2017 following Neymar’s departure to PSG. The Catalan giants agreed to pay Liverpool a fixed transfer fee of €120 million, plus add-ons of €40 million. His buy-out clause was set at €400 million.

In the 2018-19 campaign, he did not perform as well as in his first season and decided to go on loan to Bayern Munich for the 2019-20 season. With the German giants, he won the Bundesliga, the German Cup and the Champions League, scoring twice in Bayern’s 2-8 win over Barça in the quarter-final.

In the summer of 2020, he returned to Barça because Ronald Koeman wanted him, but he struggled in the 2020-21 campaign and in the first part of the current campaign, which has led to him leaving for the Premier League.

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