Aston Villa have completed a loan deal to sign Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona until the end of the season.
Coutinho has been heavily linked with a move back to the Premier League in recent transfer windows, having seen form and fitness affect his first-team chances at Camp Nou since joining from Liverpool.
A number of clubs were thought to be interested in signing the 29-year-old, with Aston Villa joining the race earlier this week.
The Villans have now won that race for his signature, signing Coutinho on a six-month loan deal until the end of the season, with an option to make the deal permanent.
Welcome, Philippe Coutinho! 🙌
Aston Villa and FC Barcelona have agreed terms for Philippe Coutinho to spend the rest of this season on loan at Villa Park. 🇧🇷
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 7, 2022
The switch will see Coutinho reunite with former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard, who is now the manager at Villa and is understood to have been influential in the player’s decision to join the club.
Villa will pay the main part of Coutinho’s salary during the loan, which in turn frees up space in Barcelona’s wage budget which could help them register new signing Ferran Torres.
The deal represents a significant coup for Villa, with the Brazil international still the third-most expensive player of all time following his move from Liverpool to Barcelona in 2018.
Coutinho scored 54 goals and registered 45 assists in 201 games for Liverpool, but managed just 26 goals and 14 assists in 106 outings during his four years at Barcelona.