Former Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho has decided to join Aston Villa on loan for the remainder of the season.
A report in The Athletic has claimed that the opportunity to play under former teammate Steven Gerrard at Villa Park is the ‘key factor’ for the former Inter Milan man’s return to England.
The La Liga side recently signed Ferran Torres from Manchester City for £55m, but they have not yet been able to register the Spanish international.
They are therefore eager to offload Coutinho and his hefty salary.
The signing will undoubtedly excite Villa fans and will give them confidence that they may have finally replaced former captain Jack Grealish after he moved to Manchester City in the summer for £100m.
Gerrard had recently claimed that Coutinho was ‘world-class’ but refused to add to the speculation regarding the 29-year-old’s transfer status.
“I do appreciate that his name is out there and that he’s linked to Aston Villa, but there are also five other clubs in the Premier League and others across Europe who are linked with him,” the former Liverpool captain said (via The Athletic).
“To share a pitch with Coutinho was a great experience because he was on a level that few footballers are on. His imagination, his creation, and also some of the highlight reels are incredible. His name speaks for himself. But I can’t say any more than that.”