ASTON VILLA

Future of Coutinho looks to be uncertain

Coutinho, Six Sports

Steven Gerrard backs Philippe Coutinho to find his form again at Aston Villa as the club weigh up turning his loan spell permanent – as manager predicts it is ‘only a matter of time’ before play-maker dazzles

‘Phil will be fine,’ said Gerrard. ‘We can’t expect Phil to be man of the match, creator and goal scorer every time he plays. We’ll continue to work with him and I’m sure it’ll only be a matter of time. I don’t have to defend Philippe Coutinho. He defends himself with the level that he’s at. We’re playing against two teams now (Norwich and Burnley) where we should be able to create chances.

The former Liverpool star, a team-mate of Gerrard at Anfield, has registered four goals and three assists in 13 games since arriving at Villa Park in January, but his form has dipped in recent weeks.

Steven Gerrard on Coutinho

Coutinho was involved in the biggest shock signing from the January window when reuniting with Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa. Since then, Coutinho has showcased his talents with seven goal contributions from 13 appearances, becoming a star player at Villa Park.

It is believed Coutinho will remain in the Premier League, though his exact destination is not yet determined. Coutinho is likely to continue his career in England. As Coutinho’s current loan deal expires in this summer, Barcelona would be looking to accept any permanent offers to off load the Brazilian.

Howe reportedly attempted to sign Coutinho at the same time as Gerrard in January. However, it was reported the 29-year-old was not interested in a move to Newcastle at the time and opted for Aston Villa instead. But when the next deal being on a permanent basis, this could seemingly change Coutinho’s decision. The report states Newcastle are willing to spend £33m in order to bring the playmaker to St. James’ Park.

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