Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona until the end of the season.
Coutinho completed a medical examination at Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground on Tuesday and received a work permit.
The deal to bring him to Villa Park also includes an option to make the deal permanent for £ 33million in the summer.
Sky Sports News was informed that Villa was paying less than 50% of Coutinho’s weekly salary plus bonuses.
The Brazilian has agreed to take a pay cut to join Villa despite other clubs offering deals that have seen him earn 100% of his salary at Barca.
Coutinho wanted to return to England and play football regularly and see Villa as an ambitious club that is building something special for the future.
The Brazilian midfielder knows manager Steven Gerrard well having spent two and a half years with him at Liverpool, and he is said to already know a lot about Villa and his team.
A source said Sky Sports News Coutinho has reportedly been set to return to Liverpool this month, but the Merseyside club were not looking to replace him in January.
Coutinho was signed by Barcelona from Liverpool for a club record of £ 146million in January 2018, but struggled to hold onto a first-team spot at Camp Nou and spent the 2019/20 season in loan to Bayern Munich.
Villa is also interested in Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma as he enters the final 18 months of his contract, but Seagulls boss Graham Potter has revealed there has been no contact with any of them. other clubs for the Malian midfielder.
Meanwhile, the Villa Wesley forward has joined the Brazilian side of the Internacional on loan for the remainder of the season.
Analysis: Coutinho could fill the Grealish void
Jack Grealish once commented that Philippe Coutinho was one of his favorite players to watch on YouTube. “He’s still got that one, you know, where he goes left and falls like a little shimmy, which I like to do myself.” Now the journey is complete.
While Grealish has perfected his craft enough to win a £ 100million transfer to Manchester City, Coutinho returns to the Premier League to replace him at Aston Villa. If the Brazilian can repeat the form that brought him from Liverpool to Barcelona, it will be an ideal signing.
There are similarities between the two players. Grealish praised Coutinho’s ability to “get past players like they’re not there” and that’s what Villa loved so much about his former captain. They missed having this player who can shake things up this season.
Is the Coutinho idolized by Grealish still around? At 29, it’s time to get back to his best form under former teammate Steven Gerrard, but his career has drifted at Barcelona. If, like Grealish, Coutinho takes inspiration from being the lead man of Villa Park, there is plenty to do with it.
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