Aston Villa: Wage issue could see £33m star leave Villa Park

Aston Villa are set to face a ‘problem’ in their bid to keep Philippe Coutinho at Villa Park on a permanent basis due to the Brazilian’s extortionate wages, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.

Coutinho joined the Midlands club in an eye-catching loan deal from La Liga giants Barcelona shortly after the turn of the year, but the switch includes the option of being turned into a long-term agreement for £33million.

What’s the latest news involving Coutinho?

Coutinho headed to Villa Park after injuries and a lack of form had a major impact on his stay at Barcelona following a £142million move from Liverpool.

In a bid to rediscover his best form, the 29-year-old reunited with former Anfield team-mate Steven Gerrard, who had been appointed as Villa’s head coach in November.

The switch has paid off for the 66-cap Brazil international as he has already racked up four goals and three assists to make an instant impact in his new surroundings.

Gerrard has revealed he is eager to take advantage of the permanent option which was written into the deal when Coutinho headed to the Midlands.

The creative midfielder’s parent club are in financial trouble and La Liga have told Barcelona they will not be able to sign players in the summer transfer window unless they sell members of their existing squad or renegotiate less lucrative contracts with their stars.

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What has Dean Jones said about Coutinho?

Jones believes Coutinho’s wage expectations and other suitors coming in for the Brazilian could hamper Villa in their efforts to keep him at the club beyond the end of the season.

Coutinho’s Barcelona contract, which is due to expire in the summer of 2023, is worth £380,000-per-week.

Villa’s current highest earner, Danny Ings, rakes in £120,000-per-week, so Jones reckons Coutinho will need to take a major wage cut in order to make the permanent switch possible.

The transfer insider told GIVEMESPORT: “The transfer fee will be fine. They’re happy with the fee that is going to be in place.

“It’s the wages that are obviously going to cause a problem and also the competition from elsewhere.”

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Who could provide Villa with competition for Coutinho’s signature?

Coutinho returned to the Premier League having already shown his productivity in English football by registering 99 goal contributions while on Liverpool’s books, so it should come as no surprise that some of Villa’s rivals are showing an interest following his return to form.

According to Spanish sources, Arsenal are monitoring the attacking midfielder’s situation and ready to pounce if Villa are unable to push through a permanent move.

The report suggests two of the Gunners’ London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, could also enter the fray for Coutinho’s services.

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