Aston Villa ‘in the driver’s seat’ to land £33m star ‘loyal to Gerrard’
Aston Villa are ‘in the driving seat’ to complete the permanent signing of Philippe Coutinho thanks to their loyalty to Villa Park head coach Steven Gerrard, transfer insider claims DeanJones.
Coutinho sealed his return to the Premier League by joining a season-long loan from La Liga giants Barcelona at the start of the January window, but the deal includes the option to be made permanent for £33million.
What is the latest news regarding Coutinho?
Gerrard described Coutinho as “world class” before reuniting with his former Liverpool team-mate and the 41-year-old has publicly confirmed he wants the Brazilian to stay at Villa beyond the end of the season.
Although Gerrard insisted owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens were “ambitious”, he admitted that making the change permanent “isn’t as simple as people think” despite the 33 million option. sterling included in the original loan agreement.
It has put the Premier League rivals on red alert and, according to Spanish sources, Newcastle United are ready to pounce if Villa are unable to keep renowned creative midfielder Coutinho in the Midlands.
The report suggests that the Magpies, through intermediaries, have already shown an interest in the 68-cap Brazil international and would be willing to offer a lucrative salary in order to lure him to St James’ Park.
Arsenal are also reportedly preparing a move, while Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United could enter the race for Coutinho’s services if he fails to commit his long-term future with Villa.
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What did Dean Jones say about Coutinho?
Jones believes Coutinho still sees Villa as his first choice ahead of the summer window.
The transfer insider believes the 29-year-old is keen to continue working under Gerrard, who he had already formed a strong bond with during 81 side-by-side appearances for Liverpool.
Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “I think it’s important to understand that Coutinho is loyal to Gerrard and, at this stage, Villa are really in the driver’s seat to sign him.”
Why could Coutinho choose not to stay at Villa?
It’s clear that Villa won’t be able to match the £380,000-a-week wage Coutinho enjoys on his current contract at Barcelona, which is due to expire in just over 12 months.
That’s well beyond the amount Villa currently earn the most, with Danny Ings’ deal worth £120,000 every seven days.
Failing to qualify for Europe could also turn Coutinho’s head past other suitors, with Villa currently sitting mid-table and adrift of the top six heading into the final stages of the campaign.
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