Barcelona confirmed that Philippe Coutinho has agreed to join Aston Villa on loan until the end of the 2021-22 season.
Coutinho joins on a six-month loan, despite rumors Barca had been pushing for a longer deal, and the transfer does include a purchase option.
The move sees Coutinho return to the Premier League and link up with former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard who is now the boss at Villa Park.
The club’s official statement read:
“FC Barcelona and Aston Villa have reached an agreement for the loan of the player Philippe Coutinho until the end of the season. The agreement, subject to the player passing his medical and obtaining a work permit, includes an option to make the transfer permanent.
“The English club will pay part of the player’s wages and the midfielder is expected to travel to Birmingham in the next few hours.”
The Brazil international attracted interest from across the Premier League and in Europe this January, but was reportedly swayed by Steven Gerrard to join the Midlands club.
Barcelona were keen to get Coutinho’s high salary off the books and the Brazilian’s departure should mean that Barcelona can now register new signing Ferran Torres following his arrival from Manchester City.
The midfielder previously spent six years in the Premier League playing for Liverpool as he made 201 appearances for the Anfield club, scoring 54 goals, and was a world class player when he left for Barcelona.
Fast forward and things didn’t quite work out as planned following his stunning £146m move from Liverpool to Spain.
The 29-year-old Coutinho was described as a ‘magician’ by Gerrard earlier this week when the Villa head coach was quizzed on the speculation linking the Barcelona man to a move back to England and he will look to return him to the level he was at previously which he knows first hand he is capable of playing at.
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