Date: 7th January 2022 at 4:54pm
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Aston Villa have announced the shock signing of attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho on a loan deal until the end of the season. 

The Brazilian joins the Villans from Spanish giants Barcelona, who he has been with since departing Liverpool for a staggering £142 million in 2018.

The 29-year-old returns to England on an initial loan deal, which includes an option to buy the Brazil international for £33 million at the end of the season.

Coutinho will link up with Villa boss Steven Gerrard, who he played alongside for two-and-a-half seasons before the Englishman left in 2015.

Both played crucial roles in Liverpool’s unsuccessful pursuit of the Premier League title during the 2014/15 season.

The Brazilian endured a tough time in Catalunya, struggling to maintain a regular starting spot under Ronald Koeman, and was loaned to Bayern Munich during the 2019/20 campaign.

Coutinho has started just five La Liga games this season

During his time with the German champions, he famously scored a brace in Bayern’s 8-2 thrashing of his parent club at the Nou Camp.

So far, the playmaker has scored 26 goals in 106 appearances for the La Liga giants, although it remains to be seen whether or not he will feature for them again.

The experienced midfielder is Villa’s latest big signing, following deals for Emi Buendia and Leon Bailey over the summer.

The midfielder will be a welcome addition to a Villa side who, despite starting the season slowly, have improved since Gerrard succeeded Dean Smith as manager.

The deal is subject to the player passing a medical and being granted a work permit.

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