Gerrard hails ‘magician’ Coutinho as Aston Villa, Barcelona agree loan deal for Brazilian

Agreement subject to player passing a medical and securing a work permit

Philippe Coutinho is back in the Premier League after Aston Villa and FC Barcelona agreed terms for the Brazilian to spend the rest of this season on loan at Villa Park.

The agreement, which is subject to the player completing a medical and receiving a work permit, also includes an option to buy and Philippe will travel to Birmingham in the next 48 hours.

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has described the Brazilian a ‘magician’. Both played together at Liverpool for two years.

The pair formed a great relationship at Anfield, where Gerrard saw the 29-year-old’s qualities firsthand.

“Sixty three caps for Brazil, a serial winner, played for Barcelona, was incredible at Liverpool.

“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,” said Gerrard of Coutinho at his pre-match presser on Thursday.

Coutinho has a glittering CV that boasts domestic trophies in four countries, a Champions League winners medal and a Copa America title for Brazil.

The playmaker racked up 152 Premier League games during his time at Liverpool, scoring 41 goals and recording 35 assists, and Gerrard says his record speaks for itself.

“He won two league titles for Barcelona, he won two Copa del Reys. If you go and have a look at his Wiki page, you’ll see a serial winner wherever he’s been,” he said.

“I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about the player. He’s a friend of mine.”

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