Aston Villa could land Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona for cheap despite the Brazilian’s initial £34million option-to-buy clause.
Coutinho arrived at Villa Park in January on loan from the Catalan side with a reported £34million buy option at the end of the season inserted in the deal.
The 29-year-old appears to have put all past woes behind him and has hit the ground running under Steven Gerrard, scoring two goals in three appearances for the Villans.
And it is now being reported by Spanish outlet SPORT that the side could end up signing him permanently for less than their initially agreed £34million.
It is understood that Barcelona, who are facing huge financial restraints, are desperate to get Coutinho off their wage bill.
That means the La Liga side may consider lowering their asking price for a player who is not a part of Xavi’s future plans, having only made 12 appearances this season mainly off the bench.
Villa are not expected to splash £34million despite Coutinho’s brilliance and will hope to negotiate a new price.
That is likely to be in the region of a far more reasonable sum of £21-£25million.
Do you think Villa should sign Coutinho on a permanent deal at the end of the season? Let us know in the comments section.
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Meanwhile, Gerrard, who began his first Premier League managerial role in November, was full of praise for the attacking-midfielder after the 3-3 draw to Leeds United on Wednesday.
Gerrard said: “It was vintage Philippe Coutinho.
“He seems happy, we have given the stage to go and enjoy his football again.
“His vision and his awareness, if you don’t love watching that you should stop watching football.”