Aston Villa, who just came off a 2-1 loss to Liverpool in the Premier League, are working on the final details to keep Brazilian winger Philippe Coutinho on a permanent basis, Sky Sports journalist Fabrizio Romano reported. 

Villa coach and former Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard commented, “I can repeat I’m extremely keen to keep Coutinho here permanently, we’re trying and we’re aligned”. Coutinho, who himself rose to fame in Liverpool, soon left for Barcelona but failed to make a mark there. His stint at Bayern Munich too was lacklustre, but returning to the PL seems to have put the wind in his sails again, as he’s been hailed a hero at Villa. 

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Naturally, Coutinho has agreed to stay on at Villa, Romano reports, and the 29-year-old is happy with the manager. Citing sources, the Sky Sports journalist said that Coutinho’s fee will be €20 million ($21 million). However, payment terms remain to be discussed with Barcelona, who’d loaned Coutinho until now. 

Gerrard continued about his wish to keep Coutinho, saying “We have five games in 15 days so Phil and Emi [Buendia] will both get enough game time to keep themselves satisfied. As a club, we want to be in a place where games come thick and fast. Phil understood the decision, he has played a lot. There are no egos here.” 

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Back in March, the English manager had spoken highly of the Brazilian too, saying “When he’s comfortable, he’s happy and he’s enjoying his football we all know we’re dealing with a world-class talent”, adding, “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.” 

Villa have had a good run under Gerrard and aim for a top-half finish, which the former midfielder believes would give them a strong pre-season base.