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Philippe Coutinho took 70 per cent pay cut to seal Aston Villa transfer and Barcelona exit

By James Nursey & Dan Marsh

Aston Villa wrapped up the £17million signing of Philippe Coutinho last night – after the Brazilian agreed to take a huge 70 per cent pay cut to seal a permanent switch to Villa Park.

The ex-Liverpool star has been in sizzling form since he arrived in the Midlands back in January. Coutinho has plundered four goals and racked up a further three assists in just 16 Premier League appearances after leaving Barcelona on loan.

The original deal between the two sides did include a £33m clause for Villa to sign Coutinho on a permanent basis, but there were doubts over whether or not a deal could be struck due to the lucrative £480,000-a-week contract that Coutinho penned back in January 2018 when he was lured to the Nou Camp in a record £142m switch. However, Coutinho has agreed to take a significant hit on his salary – more than 70 per cent – in order to fit into Villa's wage structure.

The midfield maestro has inked a four-year contract worth £125,000-a-week until 2026 with Villa, who managed to drive the price of the deal down due to Barcelona's desperation to get Coutinho's bloated salary off their books.

Speaking after the deal was confirmed, Coutinho said: “I am really happy and excited about the present and future. I’ve been made to feel very welcome since day one. I’ve enjoyed it so much. I believe so much in the squad that we can achieve really good things next year and I am really excited for the next season already.”

And Gerrard – Coutinho's former Liverpool team-mate – also lauded the deal and hailed the impact that the midfield star has had at Villa Park since his arrival. He added: “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.

Join the debate! Do you think Coutinho is a good signing for Aston Villa? Let us know here.

Steven Gerrard was desperate to keep Coutinho at Villa Park (Getty Images)

“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.”

Coutinho's renaissance at Villa Park had attracted the attention of Villa's Premier league rivals Arsenal and Newcastle, but the Barcelona outcast has enjoyed life in the Midlands after his miserable four-year stint at the Nou Camp and is now set to continue his affiliation with Gerrard.

The Villa boss is also keen to add a holding midfielder to his squad in the summer, with interest in Leeds talisman Kalvin Phillips, Brighton's Yves Bissouma and Marseille ace Boubacar Kamara.

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Dive Deeper:
Philippe Coutinho sends classy public tribute to Barcelona after confirming exit
Philippe Coutinho’s permanent switch to Aston Villa was confirmed on Thursday but he still had time to pen an emotional…
Philippe Coutinho completes £17m transfer to Aston Villa to end Barcelona nightmare
Philippe Coutinho has been on loan at Aston Villa since January, where he has been playing under his former teammate…
Aston Villa sign Philippe Coutinho for £17m from Barcelona
The Brazilian has enjoyed a loan spell with the club under Steven Gerrard and now joins on a four-year contract
Philippe Coutinho completes £17million move to Aston Villa
The Brazilian has made his loan move from Barcelona permanent.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Aston Villa handed Kalvin Phillips transfer boost as Leeds face battle to keep star
Steven Gerrard is preparing for a busy summer transfer window with some potential shock incomings and exits as he reshapes…
Philippe Coutinho transfer confirmed as Steven Gerrard makes decision on ex-Liverpool star
Philippe Coutinho's Aston Villa loan deal has been turned into a permanent move, ending his Barcelona nightmare
Get all your news in one place