Still with medical review pending, Coutinho will play for Aston Villa on loan until the end of the season, with a buy option clause. As on FC Barcelona side, they manage to earn some salary limit margin in order to sign up Ferran Torres, who has been their main sign so far in this winter transfer market.
It is not wild to say that Coutinho has been the worst sign in history for Barça. The huge quantity of money given to Liverpool, added to his poor performing, make obvious for the club to get rid of him. Now the Brazilian will look for a new opportunity along with his old teammate Steven Gerrard.
A safe bet:
Aston Villa have been able to overcome their poor start into the season all the way up to mid-table under Gerrard. The current season does not invite to think that they can aim for much more, as the European spots are too far away and they should not struggle at all to avoid relegation.
Coutinho joins the team as an addition and taking advantage of his current devaluation and friendship with Gerrard. The fact that the club has decided to pay more than half of his high salary proves that they are not only looking for a six months loan, but instead that he can improve the team’s level in order to sign him in summer towards next season. He could come back to Barcelona in case he does not get back to his best level and, on the other hand, Aston Villa would have to negotiate on a transfer if he returns to his best version.
Coutinho can find at Aton Villa a coach to help him, apart from being surrounded by high level teammates like Buendia, Mcginn, Watkins or Cash and without the pressure of having to perform at the highest level. Now we have to see where Gerrard fits him in, as he could both play as a winger full backs that can double him up on his back or in the middle leaving Mcginn in a more defensive position.
Bye and good luck:
Barcelona expect that this loan will turn into a buy in the near future. Coutinho arrived in the 2017/2018 winter transfer market just as Barça had lost Neymar and started a new era with Ernesto Valverde in the bench. The player did not perform his best and the financial struggle was starting to be a reality.
This way, he started an one year adventure at Bayern Munich. He had a secondary role in Germany, but he neither performed his best. His best game took place in that disastrous 8-2 loss for Barça in the Champions League. He returned to Barcelona by the end of that season with the hope that the loan could now be useful on recovering his best shape.
His returned was influenced by injuries and the club’s financial issues dragged much attention to him, as he had one of the highest salary of the roster. Barça seem to have given up on him and believe that it is impossible to get profit out of the disastrous sign (135 million euros). Now Aston Villa arise willing to pay more than half of his salary until the end of the season, apart from including a buy option in case he performs the expected level.
Barça now can just say bye to one of their worst inversions ever and wish him good luck so they can make some revenue from him by the end of the season.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: Twitter @FCBarcelona_es.