The manager of Aston Villa, Steven Gerrard was filled with praises for embattled FC Barcelona attacking midfielder, Philippe Coutinho when the coach was asked about his potential reunion with the footballer at Villa Park.
Though Steven Gerrard did not admit that Aston Villa were interested in Countinho, he described the 29-year-old Brazilian attacking midfielder as a serial winner.
Recall that Philippe Coutinho and Steven Gerrard were teammates at Liverpool football club between 2013 and 2015. They parted ways after Gerrard decided to leave the club for the first time in his football career. The retired English footballer joined Major League Soccer club, LA Galaxy in 2015 and played for just a season before he retired from the game.
As for Philippe Coutinho, he was more or less the talisman at Liverpool until January 8, 2018, when he decided to leave the Premier League club for FC Barcelona. Due to how good he was, Barcelona paid a whopping €135 million for his services.
Unfortunately for the Spanish club, Coutinho did not live up to expectations, hence, the club had to send him on loan to Bayern Munich on August 19, 2019.
Fortunately for Coutinho who did not also play regularly during his loan spell at Bayern Munich, he was part of the team that won the 2019-2020 Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, and the UEFA Champions League.
Despite that, Bayern Munich did not deem it fit to extend the footballer’s stay at the club, hence, he had to return to FC Barcelona ahead of the 2020-2021 season.
Since the 2021-2022 season, Coutinho has managed to play 16 games in all competitions for FC Barcelona in which he scored two goals. Hence, he is ready to move to a club where he could play more regularly.
Reports claimed that Coutinho is willing to reunite with coach Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa during this January transfer window even though the club is sitting on the 13th spot on the league table.
Before now, it was reported that about seven clubs including his former club, Liverpool, were interested in signing him this January. But Liverpool have reportedly withdrawn their interest.
Latest reports claimed that only two Premier League clubs are after Coutinho’s signature but Aston Villa seem to be at the forefront of the transfer speculation.
Hence, ahead of Aston Villa FA Cup third-round tie against Manchester United on Monday, reporters dragged Steven Gerrard into the speculation that Coutinho could join him at Villa Park. Though he did not confirm how true the rumor is, the English tactician made it clear that he is a strong admirer of the Brazilian attacking midfielder.
Gerrard said: “Sixty-three caps for Brazil, a serial winner, was incredible at Liverpool, so I can understand why he’s linked to a lot of football clubs.
“I can understand why a lot of supporters up and down the country are speaking about him. I don’t think you get a nickname as a magician if you’re not a special footballer, so he’s someone I have an incredible amount of respect for.
“But I don’t want to add to any speculation, because he belongs to Barcelona…
“He won two league titles and two Copa del Reys with Barcelona.
“I think if you go and have a look at his Wikipedia page I think you’ll see a serial winner wherever he’s been.
“I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about the player, he’s a friend of mine, so if I’m asked the questions I can speak for as long as you want.”
🗣 "I can understand why he's linked to a lot of football clubs."— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 6, 2022
Steven Gerrard won't speculate on Philippe Coutinho but can understand the excitement around clubs wanting to sign the player pic.twitter.com/43oQRQxEyw
It is expected that the world would know Coutinho’s next destination from today, January 7 even though he still has until June 30, 2023, before his contract with FC Barcelona expires.