Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Steven Gerrard gives Aston Villa squad both barrels – ‘nowhere near it’

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard shaking hands with Newcastle boss Eddie Howe

Steven Gerrard gave a brutally honest assessment of his side’s defeat to Newcastle, claiming Aston Villa “deserved nothing from the game.”

Aston Villa suffered a minor upset when losing 1-0 to Newcastle United. The rejuvenated Magpies have now won three in a row, with their January signings already making an impression in their fight for survival.

It was Kieran Trippier who came up trumps this afternoon, scoring direct from a free-kick for the second match running.

Villa thought they’d levelled in the second half through Ollie Watkins, but the striker saw his goal chalked off by VAR.

Speaking to Match of the Day after the match, Gerrard said: “From start to finish we weren’t good enough and deserved nothing from the game.

“We were honest with the players at half-time and we got a bit of a reaction. But I’ve got no complaints with the result. I believe you make your own luck away from home and we were nowhere near it today.

Arsenal number one target this summer is Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa

Arsenal number one target this summer is Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa

Douglas Luiz is Arsenal’s prime target this summer as Aston Villa willing to let him go

“I expect more from this team collectively and individually. We feel frustrated and disappointed.

“I don’t think there was much in it today but Newcastle didn’t have to play incredibly well to win it. We need to move on and move on quickly.”

Desperate Barcelona want new Coutinho agreement

Meanwhile, Barcelona are ‘desperate’ to get Philippe Coutinho off the books, and Aston Villa could soon be presented with an opportunity even better than first thought.

The former Liverpool favourite was signed on a six-month loan deal, with Villa negotiating an option to buy for £33m. That could represent a bargain for a player of Coutinho’s class. However, according to the Birmingham Mail, the deal could be even sweeter for Villa.

Philippe Coutinho on his second Premier Lague debut for Aston Villa against Manchester United at Villa Park

They state the £33m fee is not ‘fixed’. In other words, Villa can attempt to negotiate a lower fee with Barcelona if they wish.

One might expect Barcelona would demand a higher sum given Coutinho’s stellar showings. However, their financial woes are deemed so pressing that it’s claimed they may be willing to accept even less.

Barcelona are struggling to earmark enough cash to pay the wages of their new signings. Ferran Torres, Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all arrived at the Camp Nou last month.

As such, their ‘desperation’ to rid Coutinho’s salary from their books could see them accept as little as £25m in the summer.

While that will be music to the ears of Villa and Gerrard, a deal is not necessarily straightforward. That’s because of Coutinho’s colossal salary – a reported £380,000-per-week.

Villa are noted to be paying £125,000 of that amount at present. But if they are to sign Coutinho permanently in the summer, they will need to stump up a whole lot more.

READ MORE: Jamie Carragher warns Coutinho against ‘reckless’ Aston Villa decision