Aston Villa to sign Coutinho on loan as Barcelona outcast set for Gerrard reunion


The Brazilian playmaker is returning to England four years on from making a big-money move to Camp Nou that did not play out as planned


Aston Villa have agreed to sign Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona with an option to buy the former Liverpool playmaker as he prepares to reunite with his old team-mate Steven Gerrard.


The Brazil international will see out the remainder of the 2021-22 campaign at Villa Park as he seeks to rediscover a professional spark that was lost in Catalunya.


He previously starred on the Premier League stage across five years at Anfield, and will be hoping to pick up where he left off after agreeing to work under Gerrard, rather than play alongside him.


What has been said?

Aston Villa confirmed the impending deal in a statement which read: "Aston Villa and FC Barcelona have agreed terms for Philippe Coutinho to spend the rest of this season on loan at Villa Park.


"The agreement, which is subject to the player completing a medical and receiving a work permit, also includes an option to buy and Philippe will travel to Birmingham in the next 48 hours."


Why is Coutinho on the move?


The 29-year-old first arrived in England back in the winter window of 2013, when Liverpool lured him away from Serie A giants Inter.


He settled quickly on Merseyside and became a key creative cog for the Reds under Brendan Rodgers.


Premier League title glory fell agonisingly out of reach in his first full campaign, with major silverware proving elusive across an otherwise productive stint with the Reds.


In total, Coutinho took in 201 appearances for Liverpool and registered 54 goals, while also proving to be a useful source of assists.


Those efforts earned plenty of admiring glances from afar, with the opportunity to complete a dream switch to Barcelona presenting itself in January 2018.


A £146 million ($198m) move was sanctioned, but Coutinho struggled to maintain his high standards alongside Lionel Messi and Co at Camp Nou.


The 2019-20 season was spent on loan at Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, but inconsistency followed the South American from Spain to Germany.


Niggling injuries have also proved to be a problem, with Barca making it clear during the summer window of 2021 that they were ready to cut their losses and move Coutinho on.


Various landing spots have been mooted for him since then, with it reported that six Premier League teams expressed interest this time around, but he is hoping that a once successful partnership with Gerrard will deliver an upturn in fortune once again.


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