Philippe Coutinho has completed his astonishing loan deal to Aston Villa from Barcelona until the end of the season, it was announced on Tuesday.
Both clubs announced that an agreement had been reached on Friday, which also includes an option for a permanent transfer, pending a medical evaluation and a work permit for the Brazil international. The club said he would wear the number 23 shirt.
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Vicki: Can Coutinho save his World Cup hopes in Villa?
Earlier this month, sources told ESPN that five Premier League clubs were in talks with the former Liverpool midfielder, and new Villa boss Gerrard helped seal the deal.
“I am very happy to be here. For me, it is a great club. I spoke a lot to the manager, Stevie, and he told me about the club, his ambitions and of course I am very happy to be here,” Coutinho told the club’s website.
“I’ve known Stevie for a long time – played with him – learned a lot with him and have great admiration. Of course I hope to do my best here and for sure I will work hard.”
Coutinho was reluctant to leave Barcelona, but a lack of playing time and a desire to play the World Cup later this year changed his mind.
Welcome to Aston Villa Football Club, Philippe Coutinho. pic.twitter.com/5NiotkiMaa
– Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 11 2022
The 29-year-old was Barcelona’s most expensive deal when he moved from Liverpool to Spain in 2018 for €160 million.
In his second season, he went on loan to Bayern Munchen in the Bundesliga before returning to Spain the following season, where he suffered a string of injuries and only started once last season when Xavi Hernandez took over Barcelona in November.
Coutinho could play Aston Villa as early as January 15 in their Premier League match against Manchester United.