Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Aston Villa devise risky strategy to secure transfer masterstroke with Gerrard to exploit key deadline

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard embracing Philippe Coutinho

Aston Villa remain hopeful of signing Philippe Coutinho on a permanent deal, though a report has revealed the tactic they intend to deploy to make a transfer all the sweeter.

Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool connections were widely believed to have played a major part in the loan signing of Coutinho in January. The Brazilian played with the Aston Villa boss at Anfield and hit the ground running once signed on loan.

His form has tailed off to some degree after a fast start. He bagged four goals and three assists in his first eight matches. But since then he has not notched in either column in his last four outings against tougher opposition.

However, it’s unarguable his presence in the forward line has made Villa more potent than they were.

Villa have regularly been linked with turning the loan move permanent this summer.

A £33m option to buy was negotiated into Coutinho’s deal. However, it later emerged that this was just the maximum fee Villa would need to pay and that they could – if they wished – attempt to sign the forward for a lower fee.

According to the Daily Mail, that is exactly what Aston Villa now intend to do.

The newspaper cite the Spanish media and report Villa will ask Barcelona to slash their asking price by exactly 50 percent. If greenlit, that means Coutinho could be signed for just £16.5m.

Barcelona deadline could spark Coutinho price cut

One might wonder what motivation Barcelona would have to agree to such a demand. That is also detailed in the piece.

Firstly, it’s once again reaffirmed that Barcelona are desperate to shift Coutinho from their books. The Brazilian reportedly earns a colossal £480,000-per-week and has never justified that salary at the Camp Nou.

Secondly, it’s claimed Barcelona ‘need to deposit’ the money they make from a Coutinho sale ‘by June 30’. Doing so would help them balance their books, with their cashflow problems in recent years well documented.

Gerrard’s desire to land Coutinho permanently is acknowledged. However, the manager seemingly believes he can do that and secure Villa a better deal at the same time.

Newcastle could swoop in for Philippe Coutinho

Newcastle could swoop in for Philippe Coutinho

Newcastle have been linked with a move for Philippe Coutinho and they could tempt him with a £1 million bounus.

The strategy is not without risk, however. Newcastle have been linked with swooping in if a move to Villa Park fades away. It’s unlikely they would be as picky as Villa when it came to the finances either.

Another reason why Villa want to lower the cost stems from the risks signing Coutinho would bring.

He will be 30 by the time next season begins. Furthermore, while he will need to take a significant pay-cut from his current wages, it’s still expected he’d become Villa’s top earner.