According to journalist Gerard Romero, Barcelona have agreed to sell Philippe Coutinho to Aston Villa – where the Brazilian will work with former teammate Steven Gerrard – on a permanent basis this summer.
The Blaugrana will take a massive loss on the player who cost them a reported 122 million euros (plus add-ons) from Liverpool back in 2018. Instead, the club has agreed to sell him for a small 20 million fee while keeping hold of 50 per cent of the player’s rights.
Coutinho will continue to play under his former teammate Gerrard at Villa, who was instrumental in bringing him back across the English Channel in the first place. Recently, the ex-Liverpool captain confirmed his desire to keep the playmaker at Villa Park and build his team around him.
“Phil was successful at Barcelona but he had difficult periods as well. He got to the stage where he needed a change of scenery and a different movie.
“We want to be that movie 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.
“All good teams have game-changers who the opposition are really concerned about before a ball is kicked. Phil has that status and he is giving belief to his teammates.”Gerrard said.
Coutinho’s big move to Barcelona did not work out as planned. Brought in to add an extra dimension in attack following the departure of Neymar in 2018, the playmaker failed to leave a lasting impression on successive managers and was eventually loaned out to Bayern Munich for the 2019/20 season, which culminated in a league and Champions League double for the Bavarians.
However, the German champions decided against triggering the option to buy him outright, and he returned to his parent club, where he continued to play sporadically until he was loaned to Villa in January 2022.