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Aston Villa agree deal to sign Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona | Aston Villa


Aston Villa have agreed a deal to sign Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona for the rest of the season. The final details were settled on Friday for a transfer under which Villa will pay the bulk of the Brazilian’s salary.

The move reunites Coutinho with Steven Gerrard, a former Liverpool teammate who is Villa’s head coach. The pair played together from 2013-15 and on Thursday Gerrard described the 29-year-old as a “special footballer”.

Gerrard said: “He’s won two league titles at Barcelona, two Copa del Reys. If you go and have a look at his Wiki page you’ll see a serial winner wherever he goes. He’s won 63 caps for Brazil, played for Barcelona and was incredible at Liverpool.

“So I can understand why he’s linked to a lot of football clubs. I can understand why a lot of supporters up and down the country are speaking about him. I don’t think you get a nickname of ‘The Magician’ if you’re not a special footballer.”

Coutinho’s time at Barcelona since a move from Liverpool for an initial £106m has in fact not been a success and he spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich. Barcelona have made attempts to sell him since summer 2019 without finding a buyer.

Philippe Coutinho is embraced by his captain, Steven Gerrard, after scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City in April 2014.
Philippe Coutinho is embraced by his captain, Steven Gerrard, after scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City in April 2014. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian



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