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BREAKING: Philippe Coutinho joins Aston Villa on loan from Barcelona Deal signed

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Philippe Coutinho is keen to leave Barcelona and return to the Premier League in search of regular football; Aston Villa are understood to be one of two English sides that are keen on the midfielder; Coutinho played with current Villa manager Steven Gerrard at Liverpool

Philippe Coutinho has made a decision over his future and an announcement will be made on Friday.

Aston Villa are understood to be one of two Premier League sides keen to sign Coutinho, who wants to return to England and play regular football.

Coutinho is understood to be more than willing to sign for Villa, who are 13th in the Premier League, as he sees them as an ambitious club that are building something special for the future.

The Brazil midfielder knows Gerrard well having spent two-and-a-half years with him at Liverpool, and is said to already know a lot about Villa and their squad.

One source has told Sky Sports News there was also a chance Coutinho could return to Liverpool this month and he would be happy to return to Anfield.
However, it is understood Liverpool will not be pursuing a move for the 29-year-old during the January transfer window.

Coutinho was signed by Barcelona from Liverpool for a club-record £146m in January 2018, but he has struggled to hold down a first-team place at the Nou Camp and spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Bayern Munich

Coutinho would be more than happy to play for Aston Villa’

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Kaveh Solhekol has revealed that a source has said that Philippe Coutinho is interested in playing for Aston Villa
Sky Sports News’ Kaveh Solhekol:

“Speaking to people on the player’s side of the deal, my feeling about this is that Philippe Coutinho would be interested in joining Aston Villa.

“He knows people at Aston Villa. He knows Steven Gerrard and Christian Purslow from his time at Liverpool. He feels Villa are an up-and-coming club. Gerrard, Purslow and the owners have big plans for the club.

“He also knows the king of quality in the Villa squad, players like Ollie Watkins, Emi Buendia and Emi Martinez, and he feels if he was playing at Villa regularly, he could help them get up the table and into Europe.

“So, I think that is definitely on the cards and as far as Aston Villa are concerned, of course, they are not giving anything away. They are not commenting at all because as far as they are concerned, he’s a Barcelona player.

“From the player’s perspective, I understand Coutinho would be more than happy to play for Aston Villa and Steven Gerrard.”

Despite widespread belief that Coutinho has underperformed since moving to Spain, Gerrard has defended his former team-mate’s record at the Nou Camp and thinks he still has a lot to offer.

“He won two league titles and two Copa del Reys with Barcelona,” added Gerrard.

“I think if you go and have a look at his Wikipedia page I think you’ll see a serial winner wherever he’s been.

“I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about the player, he’s a friend of mine, so if I’m asked the questions I can speak for as long as you want.”

Coutinho also spent the 2019/20 campaign on loan at Bayern Munich and won the Champions League, the Bundesliga, and the German Cup under Hansi Flick

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