Aston Villa 'in the box-seat' to seal Villa Park deal for £33m star

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard clapping supporters

Aston Villa are ‘in the box-seat’ to complete Philippe Coutinho’s permanent move to Villa Park, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

Steven Gerrard was appointed as Villa’s head coach last November and, ahead of his first full season at the helm, he could look to splash the cash during the summer transfer window.

What’s the latest news involving Coutinho?

Coutinho joined Villa on an initial loan deal in the early stages of 2022, but the switch included the option of him making the move from Barcelona permanent if they stump up £33million.

It seems the Midlands outfit will have to decide on whether to take advantage of that agreement quickly as, according to Spanish sources, Villa need to inform Coutinho’s parent club of their decision by the end of the month.

The 29-year-old has become a key cog in Villa’s midfield and shown he is capable of being a threat in the final third by chipping in with goals and assists.

But there are question marks over whether Gerrard will be able to keep Coutinho at Villa Park as his current Barcelona contract, which will expire in the summer of 2023, is worth £380,000-per-week.

That far exceeds what Villa’s top earner rakes in, with Danny Ings pocketing £120,000 every seven days.

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What has Pete O’Rourke said about Coutinho?

O’Rourke believes Villa may need to negotiate a cut-price deal if they want to keep Coutinho at the club beyond this season.

The claim comes as a result of the Brazilian’s current wage package at Barcelona, but the journalist still feels the Midlands giants are in pole position to complete the permanent switch.

O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “If they can get him on a relatively cheap deal from Barcelona, maybe for £17million, I think it could still be a good deal for Villa.

“Obviously, his wages would have to be cut if he is to make the move to Villa Park, but Steven Gerrard is a huge fan of Coutinho.

“I think Coutinho has settled in quite well at Aston Villa as well, so I think they’re in the box-seat to make this deal permanent.”

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Has Coutinho been linked with any other clubs?

Coutinho has scored more than 100 goals over the course of his senior club career, so it should come as no surprise that Premier League rivals are looking to pounce if Villa opt against keeping him on a permanent basis.

The 68-cap Brazil international has attracted interest from Newcastle United and, according to Spanish sources, are prepared to offer a £1million bonus in a bid to entice him to St James’ Park.

It has previously been reported that Arsenal and West Ham United are also monitoring Coutinho’s situation.

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