Coutinho joins Aston Villa on permanent deal from Barcelona

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Mueez Ajao

– Aston Villa have signed former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho on a permanent deal from Barcelona.

– The Brazilian, 29, moved to Villa Park on loan in January in a deal which included an option to buy at the end of the season.

– He has now signed on a contract running until 2026 for 20m euros (£17m) and is understood to have taken a considerable wage cut from his deal in Spain.

Also Read: Aston Villa reach total agreement with Barca over permanent transfer of Coutinho

– “This is a brilliant signing for Aston Villa,” said manager Steven Gerrard.

– “Phil is a model professional and his impact on the group has been very clear since he joined in January.

– “With the way he conducts himself on and off the pitch, he’s also a valuable role model for our younger players who can only benefit from his experience.

– “As we look to build towards next season, it is incredible to work at a club that executes its business so decisively and smoothly.”

– Coutinho has scored four goals and provided three assists at Villa, although none of those have come in his past eight games.

– He joined Barcelona in a £142m move from Liverpool in January 2018 and had 12 months to run on his contract.

– Gerrard, who was Coutinho’s captain at Liverpool, made it clear after Saturday’s impressive 3-1 win at Burnley that he wanted to sign Coutinho permanently.

– Coutinho scored 54 goals in 201 appearances for Liverpool, who he joined in a £8.5m move from Inter Milan in January 2013.

– He scored 26 goals in 106 appearances for Barcelona.