Aston Villa could pull off deal for £33m star who 'loves playing under Gerrard'

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard could be crucial in their attempts to sign midfielder Philippe Coutinho on a permanent basis, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The Midlands outfit secured the 29-year-old’s services on a six-month loan deal from Barcelona during the January transfer window, although they do have the option to make his stay long-term for £33 million.

What is the latest news involving Coutinho?

Coutinho became one of the world’s most expensive stars when he joined the Catalan giants from Liverpool back in January 2018, but he was unable to produce his best form at Camp Nou.

After falling down the Barca pecking order, the Brazil international was allowed to seek pastures new during the winter in an attempt to revive his faltering career.

And upon his arrival at Villa Park, Coutinho made it clear that former teammate Gerrard had played a decisive role in his decision to join the club.

“[Steven Gerrard] told me about the club, the ambitions of the club and his plans also,” said the South American. “When I spoke to him after the meeting it was clear that I wanted to be here. I think it [happened] quickly, and I am very happy to be here.”

Since then, Coutinho has hit the ground running for the Villans, registering an impressive four goals and three assists in just nine appearances for his side.

What has Jones said about Coutinho?

Although Villa have the option to buy Coutinho, his purchase is far from guaranteed, and he could end up returning to Barca or joining a different side in the summer.

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However, Jones believes the Midlanders have ‘got a good chance’ of snapping up the creative talent as ‘he loves playing’ for Gerrard.

He told GiveMeSport: “They know they’ve got a good chance because Coutinho feels at home, and he loves playing under Steven Gerrard. So, that’s really working in their favour right now.”

Can Villa sign Coutinho permanently?

According to The Telegraph, Coutinho is going to have to take a significant cut to his £480,000-a-week wages if he is to make his loan move to Villa permanent.

And Gerrard recently revealed the transfer is not as ‘straightforward as people think’, casting doubt over Coutinho’s future.

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“I think you all know what my decision would be,” Gerrard told Amazon Prime (via Goal) in his post-match interview. “I think you all know what I think of him, but this is not as straightforward as people think.”

It remains to be seen if Coutinho is plying his trade in Claret and Blue next term, but everyone associated with Villa will surely be hoping an agreement can be reached.

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