Aston Villa will loan out Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona

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Aston Villa expect to complete the signing of Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona – beating as many as five other Premier League clubs to the Brazilian national team player.

The deal could be completed soon, on a first six-month loan with the possibility of extension, and will be completed due to the former Liverpool midfielder’s desire to play under former Anfield team-mate Steven Gerrard, who was installed as Villa coach in November.

Coutinho’s career has dropped dramatically since joining Barça from Liverpool in 2018 for an appetizing fee of over £ 100 million plus surcharges.

He struggled to find his place on the side at first and it has hardly gotten better since then. Not even a fairly successful loan to Bayern Munich – where he infamously scored against his parent club in the Champions League semi-final 8-2 – could revive his best form.

Barcelona have been trying to get him out of his books for a while and the need to do so has only become more pressing since Ferran Torres arrived from Manchester City earlier this month.

Blaugrana has not yet been able to register its new player due to salary cap restrictions – although those restrictions would be mitigated by Coutinho’s resignation.

A number of rival Premier League teams, including Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton and Newcastle, also expressed interest and considered a move, but the player’s relationship with Gerrard has apparently played a key role in the move.

Coutinho has 18 months left on his current contract with Barcelona.

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