Philippe Coutinho finalizes Aston Villa loan

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Aston Villa have finalized the loan signing of Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona after the Brazilian was successfully granted a work permit.

The Premier League club announced on Tuesday evening that the transfer formalities, which include a purchase option, have now been completed.

“Philippe Coutinho arrived at Bodymoor Heath on Tuesday afternoon to complete his move to Aston Villa,” a club statement read.

“The Brazil international, 29, went straight to the club’s training complex after landing in Birmingham, having successfully completed his medical studies and obtained a work permit.

“Coutinho will spend the remainder of the season on loan at Villa Park from FC Barcelona, ​​with the deal including a buy-out option.”

Barcelona have confirmed that Villa will pay part of Coutinho’s salary as he returns to the Premier League after four years and the sides reconnect with former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard.

Coutinho joined Barcelona from Liverpool in 2018 on a contract worth £ 146million, but struggled at Camp Nou and spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich.

Although he helped Barca win La Liga in 2018 and 2019, he never regained the form he displayed in the Premier League.

Coutinho, who has spent time in France while waiting for the work permit to be processed, becomes Gerrard’s first signing at Villa since joining Rangers in November to replace Dean Smith.

“It’s a pleasure to be here; it’s a great club, ”Coutinho told www.avfc.co.uk.

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Philippe Coutinho (left) performed alongside Steven Gerrard in Liverpool (Nick Potts / PA)

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Philippe Coutinho (left) performed alongside Steven Gerrard in Liverpool (Nick Potts / PA)

“I spoke a lot with the manager, with Stevie, and he told me about the club and his ambitions. I am very happy to be here and looking to enjoy my football.

“I’ve known Stevie for a long time. I played with him and learned a lot from him.

“He is someone for whom I have great admiration. Hope to do my best here. Of course I will work hard and hope that together we can do a good job.

Coutinho could make his Villa debut against Manchester United on Saturday and is confident he can make a big impression in the Premier League again.

“I can’t wait to meet the fans, to be on the pitch. I know and I feel they are happy that I am here, ”he said.

“I want to pay it back on the pitch and enjoy my football. I can’t wait to be in the field.

“I always want to be at my best, do my job. This is what I work hard for every day. I hope it will be a good rest of the season here.

Meanwhile, the PA news agency understands that Everton is interested in a move for Villa midfielder Anwar El Ghazi, who came off the bench for the finals of the FA Cup third round loss to Old Trafford Monday evening.

Villa is also said to be hunting down Everton defender Lucas Digne, who fell out of favor with Toffees boss Rafael Benitez.

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