Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Jamie Carragher urges Steven Gerrard to act over Aston Villa star amid Arsenal, West Ham interest

Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher thinks Aston Villa should accelerate talks with Barcelona to sign Philippe Coutinho permanently, saying the potential deal ‘is a snip’.

Coutinho reunited with former team-mate Steven Gerrard in January as Villa agreed a six-month loan with Barcelona. The attacking midfielder is aiming to get his career back on track after several poor seasons at the Nou Camp.

Coutinho has looked like his old self, scoring a late equaliser against Manchester United on his Villa debut.

The Brazil international also put on a stellar display against Leeds United during an entertaining 3-3 draw at Villa Park.

He guided an accomplished effort into the far corner to make it 1-1 in the 30th minute, following an early opener from Dan James.

Coutinho then turned away from Luke Ayling before putting Jacob Ramsey in on goal with a delightful through ball, which the youngster finished off.

He set up Ramsey again five minutes later as Gerrard’s side went 3-1 up. They could not hold on to get all three points, but Coutinho certainly demonstrated his talent.

He is impressing the Villa hierarchy so much that they are planning to strike a permanent deal with Barca for him. However, the Villans will need to act fast as Arsenal and West Ham are now in the mix to land the playmaker, according to recent reports.

Jamie Carragher talks Coutinho success

Jamie Carragher has now attempted to explain Coutinho’s initial success, while also urging Gerrard and Villa to get a long-term transfer done.

“It may not just be the Premier League (that works for him),” Carragher said on Sky Sports (via HITC). “It’s maybe the managers he has had, in terms of Brendan Rodgers, when he has been at his best. Jurgen Klopp and Gerrard.

“Gerrard had a quote when he came back to the Premier League that he ‘just needs to be loved’. Now, it’s an easy thing to say. A throwaway line.

Arsenal looking at Rafael Leao from AC Milan for £50m

Arsenal looking at Rafael Leao from AC Milan for £50m

Arsenal are looking at Rafael Leao from AC Milan for £50m

“You think of those managers, I have just mentioned, and that’s the characteristics of those managers. That thing about being the main man. Everyone trying to get the ball to him all the time.

“Coutinho definitely has something to prove in coming back, in terms of, ‘I am still a big player’. He scored a wonder goal for Brazil. He is still playing for them. If Aston Villa can get him sorted at the end of the season, for £33million, then it’s a snip.”

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Villa set sights on Premier League midfielder

Meanwhile, Gerrard has reportedly been given £50m to sign a Premier League midfielder this summer after the star became an alternative to Brighton’s Yves Bissouma.

The Villans put £35million on the table to sign Bissouma during January. But the Mali international remained at the Amex as Brighton pushed the offer back.

Villa’s current transfer record is the £33m they parted with to bring in Emi Buendia from Norwich, as per BBC Sport. That record could end up being shattered though, according to an update from the Daily Star.

They claim Villa want to sign Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi this summer. A deal would cost £50m, and the Villa hierarchy have supposedly told Gerrard that this sum will be available.

Several clubs are eager to join Villa in the race for Bissouma, which could make Nigeria international Ndidi an easier capture.

READ MORE: Steven Gerrard to complete Aston Villa clear-out with third star facing axe