Aston Villa and Barcelona have confirmed an agreement to take Philippe Coutinho back to the Premier League on loan.
The Brazilian will spend the rest of the season at Villa Park, provided he undergoes a medical and receives a work permit, and Steven Gerrard’s side will have a call option at the end of the deal.
At the signing, Gerrard said: “I do not think you will get a nickname as a magician if you are not a special football player.”
The 29-year-old has been a peripheral person at Camp Nou for a couple of years after joining the Catalan side from Liverpool 2018.
Although he still averages around one goal every four games for Barça, he has failed to secure a place in their starting eleven. The striker spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Bayern Munich, where he scored 11 goals in 38 appearances.
But no permanent deal was signed and he was back in La Liga last campaign, although injuries hampered his chances of building any form of form.
His move to Villa Park will see him reunite with manager Gerrard, with whom he played for two and a half seasons at Anfield.
Coutinho is Villa’s latest attacking striker. During the summer, with Jack Grealish’s departure for Manchester City, Danny Ings, Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey were all signed, although their returns have been mixed so far.
Welcome, Philippe Coutinho! ?
Aston Villa and FC Barcelona have agreed on the terms for Philippe Coutinho to spend the rest of this season on loan at Villa Park. ??
– Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 7, 2022
Ings has scored four Premier League goals so far, while Buendia and Bailey have one each, with the latter often battling injuries.
Villa is currently in 13th place in England’s highest league, far away from the relegation zone but significantly lower in the race for European qualifiers.
Gerrard’s team has a tough assignment in the FA Cup this weekend and will host Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday night, although it is unlikely that Coutinho will make his debut in that match.
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