SPORT: Football
Philippe Coutinho joins Aston Villa.

This quar­ter Coutin­ho has only scored two goals in 16 games for Bar­ca, who have been try­ing to get him off the books for some time.

And now Coutin­ho will team up with for­mer Liv­er­pool team­mate Steven Ger­rard at Villa.

The 29-year-old will join the Eng­lish club on a first six-month loan.

Vil­la has beat­en many com­peti­tors from the Pre­mier League and Europe.

Arse­nal, Tot­ten­ham, Ever­ton and New­cas­tle have all been linked with the for­mer Liv­er­pool star.

The future boss of the play­er Steven Ger­rard has described Coutin­ho as a “won­der­ful footballer”.

Speak­ing on the trans­fer ahead of the offi­cial con­fir­ma­tion, Ger­rard said: “He is a won­der­ful foot­baller, shar­ing a dress­ing room and pitch with Coutin­ho was an absolute plea­sure as he is at a lev­el that very few foot­ballers are at.

“His imag­i­na­tion, his cre­ativ­i­ty, some of the best reels are amaz­ing and vis­i­ble to everyone.

“I think the name speaks for itself.”

Brazil­ian leg­end Rival­do says the deal works well for both sides, espe­cial­ly Coutin­ho who will want to play in this year’s World Cup.

Speak­ing to Bet­fair, Rival­do said: “Philippe Coutin­ho def­i­nite­ly seemed out of Barcelon­a’s plans fol­low­ing Xav­i’s arrival, and if a few months ago I was still encour­ag­ing and hop­ing he could final­ly prove his worth at the club, that time is now over, with the con­fir­ma­tion of his loan deal at Aston Villa.

“He was unlucky at Barcelona and his return to the Pre­mier League could be cru­cial for him, espe­cial­ly in a World Cup year.

“His qual­i­ty is unde­ni­able and if he gets his con­fi­dence back he could still secure a place in the Brazil squad for the World Cup because Tite loves him and will always keep an eye on him.

“So this move to Aston Vil­la — where he will team up with for­mer Liv­er­pool cap­tain Steven Ger­rard — is great news that could reopen the doors to a league in which he has played the best foot­ball of his career.

“It’s sad it did­n’t work out for Coutin­ho at Barcelona, ​​but his move to Vil­la will now suit both sides.”

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