Aston Villa have a ‘good chance’ of meeting Philippe Coutinho’s wage demands and completing his permanent move to Villa Park thanks to the financial backing of owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.
Steven Gerrard was appointed as the Midlands club’s head coach last November and was busy in the January window, resulting in them being Europe’s sixth biggest spenders, but he could look to make further alterations to his squad in the summer.
What’s the latest news involving Coutinho?
Coutinho was among those to head to Villa in January, with him joining on an initial loan deal which includes the option of making a permanent switch from Barcelona for £33million.
Barcelona have been told by La Liga that they will be unable to sign players in the summer transfer window unless they sell members of their existing squad or renegotiate less lucrative contracts with their stars, meaning Coutinho is available.
Gerrard has confirmed he wants to see the playmaker remain in the Midlands beyond the end of the season.
A potential stumbling block could be the fact that Coutinho’s Barcelona contract, which is due to expire in the summer of 2023, is worth £380,000-per-week.
That is far beyond the amount Villa’s current top-earner rakes in, with Danny Ings pocketing £120,000 every seven days.
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What has Dean Jones said about Coutinho?
Jones believes there is still a distinct possibility that Coutinho, who has been described as ‘world-class’ by Gerrard, will remain at Villa beyond the end of the season despite the likelihood of him seeking a lucrative salary.
The transfer insider understands that owners Sawiris and Edens are not in a position to match his current pay package at Barcelona.
However, he feels the Midlands club will still be able to offer a contract which meets the 68-cap Brazil international’s expectations.
Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “Let’s not forget that Aston Villa have extremely rich owners and they’re not a club that are struggling, so he’ll still get paid very well. I think there’s a good chance that it happens.”
Are other clubs looking to pounce if Villa fail to reach an agreement?
Spanish sources have claimed that Premier League rivals Arsenal are readying a move for Coutinho ahead of the summer transfer window.
The report suggests Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is looking into the possibility of bringing the 29-year-old creative midfielder to the Emirates Stadium.
Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United could also reportedly enter the race for Coutinho’s services, so it appears the Brazilian has a host of options which would allow him to remain in the English top flight.