Aston Villa pursue loan move for Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho

Aston Villa want to sign Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona and have contacted the Brazilian’s agent with a view to negotiating a deal.

Coutinho is ready to leave Camp Nou and Villa are understood to be one of three Premier League suitors. The 29-year-old joined Barcelona from Liverpool for an initial £106m in January 2018 but the move has not worked out and he spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich.

Coutinho, who can operate as a wide player or attacking midfielder, has started only five games this season, the most recent of those a month ago. He tested positive for Covid last week but was said by Barcelona to be in good health.

The Brazil international had a highly successful five and a half seasons in the Premier League with Liverpool and Villa believe they could get him to spark again. Barcelona have made attempts to sell him since summer 2019 without finding a buyer.

Steven Gerrard, a teammate of Coutinho while the pair were at Liverpool, is expected to be backed in his first transfer window in charge of Villa. A defensive midfielder and reinforcements at full-back are among his targets.

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