Philippe Coutinho, a former Liverpool midfielder, has been named as the next Aston Villa player after his loan move from Barcelona was finalised.
The former Liverpool midfielder’s temporary move to Villa Park was revealed last week, with the Midlands club holding the option to acquire him permanently at the end of the current campaign.
Late Tuesday night, the 29-year-old was officially introduced as a Villa player, and he will wear the No.23 shirt until the end of the season.
Villa will have to spend around £33 million to sign Coutinho permanently this summer from Barcelona, who are still paying half of his wages this season with the other half covered by the Premier League club, according to Sportsmail.
Villa boss Steven Gerrard and Coutinho played together at Liverpool from 2013 to 2015.
Coutinho revealed that his former team-mate Gerrard was key in him making the switch to Birmingham – and believes he can lear off Villa’s new boss this season.
‘It’s a pleasure to be here, it’s a great club,’ Coutinho told the Villa official website. ‘I spoke a lot with the manager, with Stevie, and he told me about the club and his ambitions. I’m very happy to be here and I’m looking to enjoy my football.’
‘I’ve known Stevie for a long time. I played with him and I learned a lot from him. He’s someone who I have big admiration for. I hope to do my best here. For sure, I will work hard, and I hope together we can do good work.
‘I’m looking forward to meeting the fans, to being on the pitch. I know and I feel that they’re happy that I’m here. I want to repay that on the pitch and enjoy my football.