Coutinho will join Villa on a loan deal until the end of the season, with an option – not an obligation – to buy to be included. The presence of his former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard in the Villa dugout is thought to have been key in his decision.
But Coutinho also has his mind on the Brazilian national team. The 28-year-old wants to make it into Tite’s squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and he needs to be playing much more often than he currently is if he’s to do that. Brazil are pretty good.
Barcelona will be delighted to have finally sealed the deal. They signed Coutinho for a club-record fee from Liverpool in January of 2018, but the playmaker has never performed at Camp Nou.
By getting his astronomical wage off the books, the powers-that-be at Barcelona have freed up the financial space they needed to register Ferran Torres, who they’ve just signed from Manchester City. They’ll hope Coutinho performs in the Premier League to enable them to sell him for a sizeable fee in the summer.
Philippe Coutinho to Aston Villa imminent. Announcement should be coming this morning
— Samuel Marsden (@samuelmarsden) January 7, 2022