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Football | Coutinho joins Aston Villa on loan

Aston Villa have signed Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona until the end of the season.

The Premier League club also have the option to sign Coutinho, who played with Villa manager Steven Gerrard at Liverpool, on a permanent basis for for £33m next summer.

Coutinho, 29, joined Barcelona from Liverpool for £146m in January 2018.

The Brazil international has won two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey titles and the Spanish Super Cup with Barca, but has struggled to cement a starting place at Camp Nou.

Coutinho was loaned to German giants Bayern Munich for the 2019/20 season, where he won the Bundesliga, the German Cup and the Champions League.

"Sixty three caps for Brazil, a serial winner, played for Barcelona, was incredible at Liverpool," Gerrard said ahead of the move.

“I can understand why a lot of supporters up and down the country are speaking about him. I don’t think you get a nickname as a Magician if you’re not a special footballer.

“He’s someone I’ve got an incredible amount of respect for.”

In other transfer news, Villa striker Wesley has returned to his native Brazil to join Internacional on a 12-month loan deal.

Villa travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in the third round of the FA Cup on Monday night.

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