Steven Gerrard wants to make permanent move for Barcelona winger, salary is an issue
Philippe Coutinho looks like a man reborn since his January loan move to Aston Villa. The Brazilian playmaker is apparently playing some of his best football after four struggle-filled years at Barcelona.
Coutinho made a stunning debut for Villa against Manchester United, helping them salvage a point with a 2-2 Premier League draw. His best, however, was on display last weekend when he led the show for the Midlands club in their 4-0 win over Southampton.
Coutinho was named Aston Villa’s Player of the Month for February. In seven games for the Premier League side, he has scored three goals and made assists each. Manager Steven Gerrard has recently hinted that the club want to sign him permanently.
Now a new report from The telegraph reaffirms the position of the former Liverpool captain, stating that Aston Villa are indeed keen to capture Coutinho’s signature on a permanent basis.
The Midlands side have the option to convert his loan into a permanent transfer by triggering a €40million option to buy at the end of the season. However, a decision would be dictated by the Brazilian’s wage demands.
Coutinho is Barcelona’s highest earner, pocketing a whopping €30m per season salary, which roughly translates to around £480,000 a week. However, it’s a figure that would be well beyond Villa’s means.
When the Villans signed him in January, they agreed to cover 25% of that, or £120,000 a week. Their highest former earner was former captain Jack Grealish, who earned £130,000 a week in his final season at the club.
So unless Coutinho is ready to take a massive pay cut, a permanent move to Villa Park could prove tricky. This has led the club to consider the possibility of extending his loan spell for another season, although Gerrard wants his former Liverpool team-mate on full-time.