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Steve Gerrard delighted with Philippe Coutinho permanent Aston Villa deal

Delighted boss Steven Gerrard saluted Villa’s decisive action after they completed a permanent swoop for Philippe Coutinho.

Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho

The Brazil international has joined from Barcelona for a fee of £17.2million, accepting a huge cut in salary to sign a four-year contract and become Gerrard’s first signing of what is set to be a busy summer at Villa Park.

Coutinho, who became the then second most expensive signing in history when he joined Barcelona from Liverpool for £142m in 2018, has scored four goals in 16 appearances for Villa since arriving on loan from the Catalan giants in January.

The 29-year-old is understood to have agreed a drastic reduction on the £480,000-a-week he received at the Camp Nou in order to fit in with Villa’s wage structure, though he will still become one of the highest paid players in club history on around £125,000-a-week. The deal includes a 50 per cent sell-on fee.

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.”

Though Coutinho has struggled to hit top form of late, Gerrard this week stated the club were “aligned” in their ambition to make his move permanent.

His signing was formally announced by chief executive Christian Purslow at last night’s end of season awards.

Coutinho: “I am really happy and really excited about the future. I have to say thank-you to Christian, the gaffer and my team-mates for making me feel very welcome. Also to the supporters, who have been incredible.

“I enjoy it so much. I have felt very welcome here. I believe we can achieve really good things next season and I’m really excited.”

Villa will now target reinforcements in defence and midfield with Brighton’s Yves Bissouma and Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips high on their list of targets.

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