Villa pull off transfer Cou as Philippe signs permanent deal
Aston Villa have announced the permanent signing of Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona on a four-year deal.
The Brazilian playmaker, 29, joined the West Midlands outfit on an initial loan deal in January.
And after impressing under former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard on his return to the Premier League, the Villans have agreed terms with the Blaugrana to keep the attacking midfielder at Villa Park.
Gerrard said: "This is a brilliant signing for Aston Villa. Phil is a model professional and his impact on the group has been very clear since he joined in January.
"With the way he conducts himself on and off the pitch, he’s also a valuable role model for our younger players who can only benefit from his experience.
"As we look to build towards next season, it is incredible to work at a club that executes its business so decisively and smoothly."
Villa have paid a reported fee of just £17million, with Barca retaining a 50% sell-on clause for a player who cost them an initial £106m when he left Merseyside in 2018.
Coutinho endured an underwhelming time at the Camp Nou, where he failed to deliver on his huge price tag, but won two league titles in four seasons with the Catalan giants.
The ex-Inter Milan maestro — who also spent a season on loan at Bayern Munich in 2019-20 — has managed four goals and three assists in 16 appearances for the Villans so far this term.
Gerrard's men host Crystal Palace on Sunday before ending their campaign with a home encounter against Burnley and a trip to Manchester City on the final day.
And they will hope to improve on their current position of 12th ahead of what could prove to be a busy summer for Gerrard.