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Villa seal permanent deal for Barcelona’s Coutinho


London (AFP) – Aston Villa completed the permanent signing of Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho on Thursday in a deal the La Liga club said is worth 20 million euros (£17 million).

The Brazilian has impressed since arriving at Villa on loan in January after struggling to make an impact at Barcelona.

Barca confirmed the transfer includes a 50 percent sell-on clause if Coutinho leaves Villa.

The former Liverpool star, who has scored four times and contributed three assists for Villa, has agreed a contract that runs until 2026.

“This is a brilliant signing for Aston Villa,” Villa boss Steven Gerrard told the club’s website.

“Phil is a model professional and his impact on the group has been very clear since he joined in January.”

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