Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard is keen to wrap up a permanent move for Philippe Coutinho, though the board will only make a decision at the end of the season.
The Brazilian has made a huge impact since joining Villa on loan and Gerrard wants to keep him. The good news is Coutinho would be happy stay and Barcelona are happy to cash in. Now the powers that be just have to sanction the permanent transfer.
According to transfer oracle Fabrizio Romano, Villa know the fee. They just have to decide whether or not they want to pay it. Romano has taken to twitter to reveal that there is a clause in the loan deal allowing Villa to get their man for €40m (£33.2m).
Gerrard would have no problem with that and would be happy to get the deal done now. But Romano is suggesting the board would prefer to wait until the end of the season.
He adds that the board are happy with Coutinho but are delaying a final decision. That decision is the only thing holding the move back.
Barca look to cash in
Barcelona are keen to sell and they are also waiting. If for whatever reason Villa did not hammer out a deal they will look to move him on elsewhere. And there would be no shortage of interest in the former Liverpool ace,
But Gerrard will be hoping it does not come to that. Coutinho represents a snip at that price in today’s market and it is hard to see why the board would not cough up.
Gerrard revealed after the recent win over Southampton that Coutinho is having a huge impact on his Aston Villa teammates. And with Villa hoping to kick on next season, Coutinho has to stick around.
Joe Gomez number 1 target for Gerrard at Aston Villa this summer
Liverpool defender Joe Gomez is Steven Gerrard’s number 1 target for Aston Villa this summer
He is only 29 years old so still has some of his best years ahead of him. And during that time he could help to take Villa to the next level.
Gerrard of course know Coutinho well from his time at Liverpool. He played alongside him and believes Coutinho is now reproducing the kind of form he showed at Anfield.
Such form convinced Barcelona to pay Liverpool £142million for him back in 2018. He may be a few years older but €40m still represents great value.
Coutinho loving Aston Villa life
Gerrard says Coutinho needed a change of scenery and his performances on the pitch reflect how happy he is.
Coutinho also revealed how much he is enjoying himself back in the Premier League. Speaking to ESPN in his homeland he admitted Villa is the place to be.
“I am very happy,” he told them. “It was my wish to return to play in England and play in the Premier League again. I’m glad I’m having this opportunity and I’m very happy.”
Gerrard wants Coutinho, Coutinho wants Villa, Barca are happy to sell. Now it is just down to the Villa board to wrap it up. But patience may be required.