Aston Villa expect to complete the signing of Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona - beating as many as five other Premier League clubs to the Brazilian international.
The deal could be completed soon, on an initial six-month loan with an option to extend, and is set to complete due to the former Liverpool midfielder's desire to play under former Anfield teammate Steven Gerrard, who was installed as Villa coach in November.
Coutinho's career has nosedived dramatically since he joined Barça from Liverpool back in 2018 for a mouth-watering fee of over £100m plus add-ons.
He struggled to find his place in the side at first and things have scarcely improved since. Not even a fairly successful loan move to Bayern Munich - where he infamously scored against his parent club in the Champions League semi-final 8-2 rout - was able to rekindle his best form.
Barcelona have been attempting to get him off their books for some time and the need to do so has only got more pressing since the arrival of Ferran Torres from Manchester City at the beginning of the month.
The Blaugrana have not yet been able to registered their new player due to salary cap restrictions - though these constraints would be alleviated by the departure of Coutinho.
A number of rival Premier League sides, including Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton and Newcastle, also expressed interest and considered a move, but the player's relationship with Gerrard has seemingly played a key role in the move happening.
Coutinho has 18 months left on his current deal at Barcelona.
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Source : 90min