Villa boss Steven Gerrard has identified former teammate Philippe Coutinho as a loan transfer until the end of the season, according to reports from Spain. This comes on the back of reports suggesting interest amongst other Premier League clubs, including Arsenal.
Barca are currently fighting to finish in a Champions League spot after a poor start to the season, and the former Liverpool attacker is surplus to requirements at Camp Nou. The 29-year-old spent a season on loan in Germany at Bayern Munich, during which time he lifted the Champions League trophy.
But, the positive stint didn’t change his fortunes at his parent club, as he never managed to force his way into becoming a mainstay for the Catalonians.
Furthermore, the signing of Spain international Ferran Torres from Manchester City and new manager Xavi’s preference for younger talents from the academy has only fanned the fires of rumours of Coutinho’s departure.
Barcelona, who are struggling to register new players due to an overburdened wage bill, would benefit from offloading the forward.
Barca and Villa are said to be in conversations that would see the Brazilian link up with his former Liverpool teammate in England. Coutinho spent five years at Liverpool, three of which involved the pair sharing a dressing room.