Philippe Coutinho has completed a permanent switch to Aston Villa from Barcelona

Aston Villa complete £17m signing of Coutinho from Barcelona with Brazilian penning four-year deal

Aston Villa complete £17m signing of Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona after impressive loan spell with the Brazilian playmaker penning a four-year contract

  • Philippe Coutinho has completed a permanent switch to Aston Villa
  • He arrived at Villa Park in January on loan for the second half of the season
  • Barcelona confirmed the deal includes a 50 per cent sell-on clause

Philippe Coutinho has sealed a permanent switch to Aston Villa for about £17million after successful talks between the Premier League club and Barcelona.

The Brazilian has been on loan at Villa Park since January, weighing in with four goals and three assists, though his form has subsided a little in recent weeks.

Villa’s original option to buy was £33million but it is understood the final fee is substantially lower after the clubs agreed to renegotiate it. Coutinho will become the highest-paid player at the club.

Philippe Coutinho has completed a permanent switch to Aston Villa from Barcelona

There has been interest in Coutinho from other European clubs but Villa boss Steven Gerrard’s close relationship with him is a decisive factor. Gerrard pushed strongly to sign Coutinho, 29, and the signing shows the strong influence he already exerts at the club.

Sportsmail reported on Monday that a deal was imminent and Villa made the formal announcement on Thursday evening.

Gerrard and Coutinho played together at Liverpool, going close to lifting the Premier League title in 2014, and Coutinho has shown flashes of the form that persuaded Barcelona to pay £142m for him in 2018.

Coutinho arrived in January on loan after being deemed surplus to requirements at Barcelona

Coutinho arrived in January on loan after being deemed surplus to requirements at Barcelona

Barcelona needed to remove some of their higher earners from the wage bill in order to have room for maneuver in the transfer market this summer. They showed interest in signing Manchester City-bound Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund and are also monitoring Robert Lewandowski’s contract talks at Bayern Munich.

Gerrard will receive backing from Villa’s billionaire owners to make significant moves in the transfer market this summer.

As well as Coutinho, Gerrard has prioritized a holding midfielder and has expressed interest in Leeds star Kalvin Phillips and Yves Bissouma of Brighton, who rejected a bid from Villa in January. Villa are front runners to sign Phillips if Leeds are relegated.

Villa are also in the market for at least one centre-back and another striker

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