Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho ‘very close’ to Aston Villa loan move

Coutinho nearing Premier League return

Barcelona and Seleção star midfielder Philippe Coutinho has edged closer to a Premier League return after Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa has made headway in a bid to acquire his services.

Coutinho is one of a handful of big names in Catalunya that have been deemed surplus to requirements to the new Xavi regime at the Camp Nou and has been linked in a number of moves that would get him off the books at Barça.

According to Spanish outlet Sport, Villa is ‘very close’ to sealing a loan move for the former Liverpool standout that would last 18-months until the end of the 2022-23 season.

Sport also reports that Gerrard has convinced Coutinho of his impending role in the first-team set up at Villa Park after the Reds legend believes he could be a decisive factor in their plans moving forward.

From Barcelona’s perspective, an 18-month loan would be the ideal scenario which would lead to Coutinho’s deal coming off the books in Spain once the loan move was completed next season which would see his wages amortized while allowing the club to register new signing Ferran Torres as quickly as possible.

How the Brazilian star could line up in Gerrard’s Villa XI

A tactically versatile player capable of finding the back of the net while also being a key creative outlet, Philippe Coutinho could certainly add a fair degree of quality in the final third under a manager in Steven Gerrard who championships a brand of high-octane attacking football that made him such a smashing success while at Glasgow Rangers.

Details revealed as Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho ‘very close’ to Premier League return

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 30: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT)Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield on December 30, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

With the current situation at Villa in mind while looking back to his brightest spells while at Liverpool, it is conceivable to suggest that Coutinho could be deployed as the mobile 10 in Gerrard’s 4-2-3-1/4-3-3.

Details revealed as Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho ‘very close’ to Premier League return

This could free summer signing Emi Buendía to be shifted to his preferred right side birth in the forward line while the impending return of Leon Bailey would signal the Jamaican international to be utilized on the opposite flank.

Details revealed as Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho ‘very close’ to Premier League return

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa and Timothy Castagne of Leicester City in action during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Leicester City at Villa Park on December 5, 2021 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

The depth at center-forward provided by both Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings would mean that Gerrard could continue to rely on either center-forward not just for their ability to find goals in the area, but also to link play with a highly-mobile attacking three just behind them.

An 18-month loan move for Coutinho would be a transfer coup for Villa that could certainly push the club forward under a manager who has already made a difference since his arrival this season.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 21 40 53
2 Chelsea FC 21 29 43
3 Liverpool FC 20 34 42
4 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
5 West Ham United 20 10 34
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 19 3 31
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 19 0 28
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 19 0 27
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 20 -1 23
12 Brentford FC 19 -3 23
13 Aston Villa 19 -5 22
14 Southampton FC 19 -9 21
15 Everton FC 18 -9 19
16 Leeds United 19 -16 19
17 Watford FC 18 -14 13
18 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
19 Newcastle United 19 -23 11
20 Norwich City 19 -34 10
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 6
Jorginho Chelsea FC 6
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 6
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 6

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