Aston Villa: Is Philippe Coutinho Set to Return to the Premier League?

Barcelona's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)
Barcelona's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images) /

Phillipe Coutinho could be on his way back to the Premier League— but not to Liverpool and is being linked with a switch from Barcelona to Aston Villa.

Aston Villa in Talks with Barcelona for Phillipe Coutinho

Reports say that Aston Villa are in negotiations to bring the 29-year old Brazilian to Villa Park on a loan-to-buy deal. This would see Coutinho return to England after leaving for Barcelona for a 105 million pound transfer fee back in 2018.

Coutinho has largely disappointed since joining the Blaugrana, only scoring 28 goals for Barcelona, and even leaving the club on loan previously in 2019. This season, he has scored twice and has failed to start regularly for the Catalan giants.

Barcelona is looking to offload several players in order to balance their books and register new signing Ferran Torres, with an eye towards major signings this summer. Coutinho is a player the club is looking to move on, along with Ousmane Dembele and Newcastle United target Samuel Umtiti.

With his connection to former teammate and current Villa manager Steven Gerrard, Coutinho could be convinced of a move to the club. Gerrard reportedly has already made contact with his former Liverpool teammate.

Would a Coutinho move work for Villa?

The Villains are still trying to find their identity in the Gerrard era, and bringing in the “Little Magician” could be a key to building that identity. The club typically plays with two narrow wingers behind a striker, and Coutinho could fill one of those roles alongside summer signing Emi Buendia.

Coutinho has been inconsistent over the last few years, but he is still a talented player. If Gerrard can restore his confidence, they could potentially get a cut-price deal on a talented player.

If the move fails, they would be left with an expensive mistake; however, it would be a manageable one. If Coutinho does not meet the standards of the club, he would not be tied to the club long-term, and both sides would be free to explore other options.

How the wages are split between the clubs will be key to this transfer, as he earns £380,000 per week, far more than the club could likely afford. Barcelona would likely have to pay a substantial part of that money to offload the Brazilian.

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Aston Villa are looking to propel themselves to the top half of the table this season, and are in need of a few additions in January. A Premier League return for the Little Magician could be the move the club needs to achieve this goal.