Gerrard gets his man as Philippe Coutinho agrees Aston Villa switch from Barcelona

Philippe Coutinho prior the Trofeu Joan Gamper match between FC Barcelona and Juventus FC at Estadi Johan Cruyf

Philippe Coutinho is returning to English football and reuniting with Steven Gerrard by signing for Aston Villa on loan from Barcelona.

Coutinho has agreed to join Villa until the end of the season, after which they will have an option to buy him permanently. The deal is subject to the completion of a medical. In that regard, Coutinho will travel to Birmingham within 48 hours.

He will become Villa’s first signing of the January transfer window and first since Gerrard took charge of the club.

The pair previously played together at Liverpool between 2013 and 2015. Now, they are teaming up as part of Gerrard’s Villa revolution.

The manager spoke enthusiastically about Coutinho at a press conference on Thursday. At the time, though, he vowed to remain respectful about another club’s player.

“He is a wonderful footballer,” Gerrard said at the time. “To share a dressing room and a pitch with Coutinho was an absolute pleasure.

“He was on a level that very few footballers are on with his imagination and creativity.

“His highlight reels are there for all to see. The name speaks for itself.”

Now, Coutinho is going to be his to work with.


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Coutinho completes return to English football

During his previous spell in English football, Coutinho made 201 appearances for Liverpool, contributing 54 goals and 45 assists.

He left in a big-money move to Barcelona in January 2018, but things never went to plan for him in La Liga. The Catalan giants made it their priority to offload him this winter, which they have now managed to do.

Coutinho leaves Barca with 106 appearances, 25 goals and 14 assists to his name. This is his second loan spell away from the club, after a previous stint with Bayern Munich, but this time there will be no way back.

Meanwhile, Coutinho’s move to Villa means Barca can register recent signing Ferran Torres from Manchester City.

Coutinho can now think about his career away from Camp Nou, though, and could be an exciting signing for Villa.

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