Aston Villa ‘want Barcelona to slash their £40m asking price for Philippe Coutinho in half’ to sign the Brazil playmaker on permanent terms after his loan move from the Nou Camp
- Aston Villa have asked Barcelona half their asking price for Philippe Coutinho
- Steven Gerrard is keen to sign the Brazil international on a permanent basis
- Coutinho, 29, has impressed on-loan at Villa since his arrival from Barcelona
Aston Villa will ask Barcelona to half their €40million (£32.2m) valuation for Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho, according to reports in Spain.
Coutinho, 29, return to the Premier League in January and has impressed under the stewardship of former Liverpool teammates and Villa boss Steven Gerrard.
When joining the Midlands club, a €40m (£33m) purchase option was included in the agreement, and Villa are hopeful Barca will now go half on the asking price.
Aston Villa are hopeful Barcelona half their asking price for playmaker Philippe Coutinho
Coutinho, 29, has impressed since his switch to Villa Park, and arguably been their best player
The report by Sport claims: ‘Steven Gerrard is in favour of signing Coutinho, but Aston Villa seems to want to cut the transfer fee by half, arguing that they will have to assume the player’s entire (salary).’
It is understood the Catalan giants need to deposit the Coutinho cash by June 30 to balance their books, and Villa will use this in their favour.
Coutinho started off brightly in his first eight games scoring four goals and producing three assists, but he has since been ineffective in Villa’s last four matches – all of which have ended in defeat.
Coutinho has been unable to help stop his side from suffering four defeats in a row recently
Gerrard is a huge fan of his former Liverpool teammate and is likely to sign him permanently
Gerrard and club chiefs now must decide whether they will make the move permanent this summer for the player who turns 30 in June.
The Brazilian playmaker is reportedly earning in the region of £480,000 per week at Barcelona, and the club would need Coutinho to agree a significant reduction on his current salary.
Gerrard is keen for the player to sign permanently, but is aware of the difficulties within the deal.
Barcelona are still paying Coutinho’s wages which is a staggering £480,000 a week
‘When he’s comfortable, he’s happy and he’s enjoying his football we all know we’re dealing with a world-class talent,’ Gerrard previously said.
‘For me, it doesn’t make sense to make any decisions now or say anything else on this, we just need to keep enjoying him and keep him healthy from now until the end of the season.’