Aston Villa want Coutinho on permanent transfer from Barcelona, confirms Gerrard

20220305 Philippe Coutinho Steven GerrardGetty Images

Steven Gerrard has confirmed that Aston Villa want to sign Philippe Coutinho on a permanent transfer from Barcelona.

Coutinho returned to the Premier League in January, four years on from his departure from Liverpool, joining Villa on loan until the end of the season.

An option to buy was included in the agreement, and Gerrard is eager for the Brazilian to commit his long-term future to the West Midlands club.

What's been said?

Coutinho has impressed since reuniting with Gerrard, who played alongside the Barca loanee in the latter years of his career at Liverpool.

Camp Nou supporters have not seen the best of Coutinho in Spain, but his current manager at Villa thinks he is well on his way to rediscovering his best level in England.

"Phil was successful at Barcelona but he had difficult periods as well," Gerrard said of the 29-year-old midfielder. "He got to the stage where he needed a change of scenery and a different movie.

"We want to be that movie for him because if we want to get to where we want to be, we need to build it around talents like Phil, because at his best he is a high-level player.

"All good teams have game-changers who the opposition are really concerned about before a ball is kicked. Phil has that status and he is giving belief to his team-mates.

"Our strikers Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings want him alongside them because he delivers on the big stage. I don’t control transfer fees or wages.

"All I can do is give my opinion to (sporting director) Johan Lange, (chief executive) Christian Purslow and the owners. They are watching the games and they will make the final decision. Phil has shown what he is capable of so far."

Coutinho's bright start at Villa

Coutinho made the best possible start to life at Villa Park when he came off the bench to score on his debut in a 2-2 draw with Manchester United on January 15.

Article continues below

The Brazil international has since recorded two more goals and three assists in a further six outings, with his latest strike coming in a 4-0 victory over Southampton.

Gerrard will likely hand Coutinho another start when Villa take in a trip to Leeds on Thursday, but it remains to be seen whether the club will cough up the cash to sign him outright, with his current contract at Barca still set to run until June 2023.

Further reading