Philippe Coutinho has made a decision about his future and the announcement will be made on Friday.
Aston Villa is considered to be one of two Premier League teams keen to sign Coutinho, who wants to return to England and play regular football.
Coutinho is more than willing to sign for Villa, who are 13th in the Premier League, as he sees them as an ambitious club building something special for the future.
The Brazilian midfielder knows Gerrard well having spent two and a half years with him at Liverpool, and is said to already know a lot about the Villa and his side.
A source said Sky Sports News there was also a chance that Coutinho could return to Liverpool this month and would be happy to return to Anfield.
However, it is understood that Liverpool will not pursue a move for the 29-year-old during the transfer window in January.
Coutinho was signed by Barcelona from Liverpool for a record £ 146m in January 2018 but struggled to keep a first team spot at Nou Camp and spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Bayern Munich.
There were up to six English clubs vying to sign Coutinho earlier this week, but now there are only two serious contenders vying for the midfielder.
Gerrard is a big fan of Coutinho, but he refused to be carried away by the prospect of signing his former teammate at Thursday’s press conference ahead of Monday’s FA Cup third round match at Manchester United.
“Sixty-three appearances for Serie A winner Brazil have been incredible at Liverpool, so I can see why he’s linked to a lot of football clubs,” said Gerrard.
“I can understand why a lot of fans up and down the country are talking about him. I don’t think you have a magician nickname unless you are a special footballer, so he is someone I have incredible respect for.
“But I don’t want to add speculation, because it belongs to Barcelona”.
“Coutinho is a serial winner wherever he’s been”
Coutinho, who has scored 28 goals in 105 games for Barça, has struggled since he made his dream of moving to Catalonia, but still managed to win four major trophies as a partial player.
Despite the widespread belief that Coutinho has been underperforming since moving to Spain, Gerrard has defended his former teammate’s record at Camp Nou and thinks he still has a lot to offer.
“He has won two league titles and two Copa del Rey with Barcelona,” added Gerrard.
“I think if you go take a look at his Wikipedia page, I think you will see a serial winner wherever he has been.
“I only have good things to say about the player, he’s a friend of mine, so if they ask me questions I can talk for as long as you want.”
Coutinho also spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Bayern Munich and won the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup under Hansi Flick.
“Coutinho would be more than happy to play for Aston Villa”
Kaveh Solhekol of Sky Sports News:
“Speaking to the people on the player’s side, my feeling is that Philippe Coutinho would be interested in joining Aston Villa.
“He knows people at Aston Villa. He has known Steven Gerrard and Christian Purslow from his time at Liverpool. He sees the Villa as an up and coming club. Gerrard, Purslow and the owners have big plans for the club.
“He also knows the king of quality in the Villa team, players like Ollie Watkins, Emi Buendia and Emi Martinez, and feels that if he plays regularly at the Villa, he could help them move up in the rankings and in Europe.
“So, I think it’s definitely in the cards and as far as Aston Villa is concerned, of course, they are not giving away anything. They don’t comment at all because as far as they are concerned, he is a Barcelona player.
“From the player’s point of view, I understand that Coutinho would be more than happy to play for Aston Villa and Steven Gerrard.”
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