Philippe Coutinho: Pundit verdict on Aston Villa transfer U-turn after £33m reveal
Aston Villa will still pursue the permanent signing of Philippe Coutinho this summer despite the player’s downturn in form.
That is the view of former England number one Paul Robinson, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the 29-year-old’s future at Villa Park.
Coutinho joined Villa on loan for the remainder of the season in January.
As per Sky Sports (12 January), the Midlands clubs have the option to make the deal permanent with Barcelona for £33million.
Coutinho made a blistering start to life at Villa with four goals and three assists in his first eight appearances for the club.
However, since Steven Gerrard’s side’s 3-0 win over Leeds United on 10 March the attacking midfielder has failed to register a goal contribution.
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He played 76 minutes of Villa’s 2-0 win over Norwich City on Saturday but failed to impress.
When asked if Villa may U-turn on a permanent deal in light of recent form, Robinson told Football Insider: “Villa have slipped away quietly this season.
“I was expecting them to finish in the top 10 after the impact Steven Gerrard had in his first few weeks. They were playing really well.
“They are a work in progress though. You forget where they were when he took over.
“I still think he’ll want to sign Coutinho permanently. They have such a good relationship. I can see it happening.
“I think Coutinho, [Ollie] Watkins, John McGinn and Matty Cash will be the players Steven builds the team around next season. I can see them pushing on if they do.
“They have fallen away but I expect a big improvement next year.”