Paper Talk: Philippe Coutinho to ditch Aston Villa transfer and sign for top-four hopefuls

Philippe Coutinho, Aston Villa loan star celebrate a goal during 4-0 win over Southampton

Aston Villa look like having the Phillipe Coutinho deal rustled from under their noses by a Premier League rival, Newcastle fancy stars from Leeds and Newcastle, while Monday’s Paper Talk claims Paul Pogba has made a firm decision on his Manchester United future.


Arsenal are reportedly set to snatch Philippe Coutinho from under Aston Villa’s noses this summer.

The Brazilian looks rejuvenated now back in the Premier League after a difficult four-year spell at Barcelona. The Spanish giants signed Coutinho for a deal that may have reached £142m – making him the third costliest player of all time.

However, he never settled at Barcelona and his return to the Premier League, under Steven Gerrard, has reinvigorated him.

Coutinho has four goals and three assists at Aston Villa in just nine appearances. Indeed, he has a goal contribution every 98.7 minutes since his move to Villa Park.

Understandably, Gerrard is keen for Villa to take up his signing on a permanent basis. And while Villa have a £33m option on the player, getting a deal done does not look straight forward.

Indeed, the Daily Mirror now claims the Gunners are ready to step in.

And a move to Emirates Stadium looks like it will have more appeal to Coutinho, especially if Arsenal qualify for the Champions League.

Gerrard not in control of Coutinho situation as permanent signing not guaranteed

Gerrard not in control of Coutinho situation as permanent signing not guaranteed

Steven Gerrard is not in control of the Coutinho transfer as the Brazilian isn’t guaranteed to stay at Aston Villa after this season

They can also match any salary Villa are prepared to pay. Coutinho is currently on a package worth £400,000 a week at Barca. And while he will have to reduce his demands, Arsenal could hand him a deal worth around half that.

Villa, despite being upwardly mobile under Gerrard, are battling for a top-half finish this season. A place in Europe may be in sight, but it may come in the UEFA Conference League if anything at all.


Newcastle United have ambitious plans to sign both Kalvin Phillips and Antonio Rudiger this summer.

Kalvin Phillips, Leeds United captain in Carabao Cup second-round clash v Crewe

The Magpies were the most active side in the January window, bringing in five new faces. And that appears to have worked wonders, with Eddie Howe’s side pulling clear of relegation trouble.

Now they want several high-profile summer deals to take their into the higher reaches of the Premier League. To that end, four huge European players were linked with a move on Saturday.

However, the Daily Mail claims Newcastle are ready to shop closer to home with a move for Leeds hero Phillips.

The England star is reportedly looking to leave Leeds this summer with a number of sides linked. The likes of West Ham and Aston Villa are reportedly in the mix.

However, Phillips could quadruple his current earnings by moving to cash-rich St James’ Park.

Eddie Howe is also looking to the signing of Rudiger. He will reportedly leave Chelsea as a free agent this summer and is a man in demand. Juventus are among those tracking the defender, who reportedly wants a deal worth around £300,000 a week.

Rudiger has established himself as one of the game’s top defenders since Thomas Tuchel took charge at Stamford Bridge. His loss would be a big blow to the Blues.


Paul Pogba’s personal trainer claims the midfielder will not be at Manchester United next season.

The midfielder’s deal is due to expire and a number of clubs are looking at him as a free agent.

Despite that, there remains hopes that Pogba may yet sign a new deal with the Red Devils.

However, Calciomercato, quoting his personal trainer known by the name ‘Coach Maddy’ claims Pogba will depart.

“Regarding Pogba, at the end of June he will no longer be a Manchester United player.

“I think it is right for him to look elsewhere, perhaps Manchester also wants to renew themselves and the most sensible thing is to separate.

“The time will come to change and try new challenges, new emotions, new environments for both Pogba and Manchester, to try something different and maybe they will both be happy.

“A top player doesn’t waste his time on minor competitions. He wants to play for ambitious trophies.”

‘Coach Maddy’ goes on to explain that both PSG and Juventus are the leading suitors.


President Joan Laporta admits Barcelona will not overspend and risk the financial stability of the club, meaning a move for Erling Haaland is unlikely.

Barca’s money problems are widely known recently. They were unable to keep hold of Lionel Messi and have paid the price, with a below-par campaign by their usual standards. The Catalans sit down in fourth spot in the LaLiga standings – 15 points adrift of table-topping Real Madrid.

Barca are traditionally a club looking to be active when any new talent emerges on the scene. And Haaland certainly fits that description with his exploits for Borussia Dortmund.

The 21-year-old has bagged 80 goals from 79 appearances in all competitions, with 56 coming in the Bundesliga. As such, the Norway international has a plethora of admirers.

However, reports on Saturday suggested Haaland has agreed a £100m package to join Manchester City.

Whether that comes to fruition, only time will tell.

However, with Barca out of the running, City have one less hurdle to overcome to land the powerful striker.