BirminghamLive gives you the most recent Aston Villa news, with Barcelona apparently requesting a response from Aston Villa regarding Philippe Coutinho’s future.
Barcelona is allegedly afraid that Aston Villa will not exercise their option to buy Philippe Coutinho permanently this summer.
According to the Mirror, the Spanish giants are concerned that Villa would opt out of a prospective transfer this summer due to the Brazilian’s uneven performances. According to the article, Barcelona’s executives “intend to speak with Coutinho’s representatives” in order to determine his future.
Coutinho has made an impressive comeback to the Premier League with Villa since coming on loan in January to join forces with a close friend and former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard. So far this season, the Brazil international has contributed seven goals in 12 appearances.
Coutinho’s influence on games, though, has lessened slightly as a result of Villa’s current losing streak. Gerrard’s team has lost four consecutive games and has struggled to play via the playmaker. With seven games remaining this season, it has been stated that Barcelona would like to know if Villa intends to exercise the £33 million option to buy Coutinho on a permanent basis.
According to the Mirror, Coutinho’s representation would offer him elsewhere if Villa does not respond quickly, with Barcelona anxious to get him off their books for good this summer. Manager Xavi has no intentions to reintegrate Coutinho into his squad, and considering the club’s recent financial woes, Camp Nou officials are eager to free up some cash tied up in Coutinho’s hefty pay.
For Villa, the summer gives an opportunity for Gerrard to continue shaping his squad, and it is thought that he will lobby the board to allow Coutinho to stay at Villa Park on a permanent basis. A sum of only £33 million represents fantastic value, especially if Villa can add to his talent during the upcoming transfer window.
Gerrard has also identified a holding midfielder and further defensive reinforcements as critical areas of the squad that will require attention this summer. Villa is rumored to be interested in Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips, Brighton’s Yves Bissouma, and Germany international Matthias Ginter.