Friday, May 24

Playmaker Coutinho joins former captain Gerrard on loan at Aston Villa


Premier League side Aston Villa have agreed a deal to bring in former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona until the end of the current season.

The deal, which is subject to a medical and a work permit being granted, includes an option to buy the 29-year-old for £33m at the end of the season, BBC reported.

According to Reuters, the 29-year-old previously spent six years in the Premier League playing for Liverpool, where he made over 200 appearances and scored 54 goals.

Coutinho joined Barcelona in a £142m move from Liverpool in January 2018. However, the Brazil international has not had the expected impact and Barca are keen to lighten their wage bill. The playmaker, who has scored 26 goals in 106 appearances for the Catalans, has 18 months to run on his Nou Camp contract, which expires at the end of the 2022-23 season, according to BBC.

His move reunites him with Villa manager Steven Gerrard, who was his captain at Liverpool.

Gerrard, who described his former team-mate as a “special footballer” on Thursday, and Coutinho were key parts of the Liverpool side who fell just short of winning the Premier League title in 2014.

Villa are 13th in the Premier League standings and return to action on January 15 when they host Manchester United.

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