“We want him here”: Steven Gerrard on a potential move for Barcelona midfielder

Philippe Coutinho has been an enigma since his move to Aston Villa in the January transfer window.

The Barcelona forward was brought in by the Villans on a short-term loan deal. Although the player had the offers to join other clubs, he opted to join Aston Villa owing to his excellent relationship with coach Steven Gerrard.

The two were teammates during their time together at Liverpool, with Gerrard being well aware of the qualities of the Brazilian. Coutinho didn’t disappoint either, enjoying a blistering start to his return to the Premier League.

He was involved in five goals in his first three matches, helping Aston Villa build a winning momentum. But the playmaker has performed below par lately, struggling with form.

It has coincided with Aston Villa’s dip in form, though the Villans have recently turned the tide with back to back wins against Norwich City and Burnley.

Coutinho’s loss of momentum has led to uncertainty in the Aston Villa camp on whether or not they should sign him permanently. But in a recent presser (h/t Mundo Deportivo), Gerrard has revealed his desire to keep hold of the Brazilian beyond the summer.

“We want Coutinho to be here with us next season,” said the Aston Villa manager, who has the option to exercise the player’s buy-out clause valued at around €40 million.

It is quite a fortune for a player who has struggled with consistency, and reports suggest Aston Villa could look to negotiate in an attempt to lower the figure to as low as €20 million.

Barcelona have no intention to sell Coutinho at a discounted price, but they are looking at several market solutions if they fail to find an ideal suitor for the Brazilian international at the end of the season.

Newcastle United, for one, have expressed the interest in matching Barcelona and Coutinho’s demands and appear more than willing to snap him up in the summer.

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