Goal claim Newcastle have now opened talks with Barcelona over a move to sign Philippe Coutinho – ahead of Aston Villa. The Brazilian is impressing on loan at Steven Gerrard’s side; they have the option to nab the playmaker.
Coutinho, 29, joined Villa on loan in January in a reunion with ex-Liverpool teammate Gerrard and has impressed since – having a hand in seven goals during his 16 outings. He has gone off the boil of late, though.
It saw him benched against Burnley at the weekend and while he started against Liverpool, Coutinho has failed to score or register an assist in his last eight Premier League games. It might tempt Villa against a move.
They have a permanent clause worth £34million in his loan – but Newcastle, as per Goal, are ready to match that fee and have already opened talks with Barcelona over a move. The Toon could snatch Coutinho ahead of Villa.
Newcastle in talks for Coutinho: Where is Brazilian’s best move?
In terms of stature of club and ambition, both are similar. Villa have shown they are willing to spend cash and will do so again this summer, while Newcastle have enormous reserves in which they will also use soon.
The difference, perhaps, is that Newcastle need a no.10 more than Villa. Emi Buendia has been impressive of late, even overshadowing Coutinho. Newcastle have Joe Willock, but he is more of a no.8.
Coutinho is on big wages and will cost Villa a whole heap of cash to sign – expensive, given he turns 30 in June. That, and his recent form might just tempt Villa against a permanent deal, opening the door for Newcastle.