FC Barcelona Agree To Sell Philippe Coutinho Aston Villa
FC Barcelona have agreed to sell misfit midfielder Philippe Coutinho to Aston Villa, reports from Catalonia claim.
The Brazil international was sent out on his second loan assignment as a Barcelona player in the recent January transfer window.
Joining the Premier PINC League team now managed by ex-Liverpool colleague Steven Gerrard, Coutinho arrived with an optional purchase clause of €40mn ($42.2mn).
Yet according to Mundo Deportivo, the Birmingham-based outfit have managed to barter a cash-strapped Barca down to accepting a fee somewhere in the region of just €15-20mn ($15.8-21.1mn).
This of course would represent a significant loss on the club record signing they snatched away from Liverpool at the turn of 2018.
Back then, the Blaugrana agreed to hand over £105mn ($129.5mn) rising to £142mn ($175mn) for the Rio de Janeiro native, who was on his way to becoming a legend on Merseyside but cited a desire to win trophies as his main motivation for leaving.
Coutinho lifted a pair of La Liga and Copa del Rey titles at Camp Nou, but his real success in Europe came as part of a first loan out at Bayern Munich in 2019.
Later the following year, Coutinho sealed the treble in Bavaria including a Champions League crown delivered by beating Quique Setien’s limp Barca side 8-2 in a Lisbon quarter-final.
Coming off the bench in the second half, the 29-year-old added insult to injury and scored a four-minute brace after providing an assist for Robert Lewandowski.
Enjoying game time under both Ronald Koeman and his successor Xavi Hernandez when returning to Barca at the start of this season, Coutinho earned respect from their fans when agreeing to go out on loan to Villa so that the Catalans could get their transfer for former Manchester City forward Ferran Torres over the line in the winter market.
At the weekend, Gerrard confirmed: “We want Philippe Coutinho here for sure,” in relation to making his temporary stay permanent, and it seems that the mid-table outfit’s higher-ups took notice and are now trying to make it a reality with Arsenal reportedly looking to hijack the coup too.