Premier League side Aston Villa have agreed a deal to sign Brazilian international Philippe Coutinhoon loan from Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona. Both clubs confirmed the loan deal earlier on Friday. The loan agreement is until the end of this season with an option to buy.

Coutinho, 29, will still have to pass his medical at Villa and get his work permit before the loan deal is finalised. Aston Villa have the option to sign Coutinho for €40m (£33m) at the end of his loan deal.

The Brazilian playmaker is on the verge of making a return to the English top flight for the first time in four years since he left Merseyside giants Liverpool to join Barcelona in a £142m deal. He has not lived up to the price tag at the Nou Camp and the Spanish giants are keen to get him off their wage bill thus leading to the loan agreement with Villa.

Six clubs were reportedly keen to sign Coutinho on loan as reported by Sky Sports earlier this week before the race was down to just two teams. Aston Villa and Newcastle United were in the running for his signature before the former won the race to sign him thanks to the influence of manager Steven Gerrard. Coutinho and Gerrard were teammates at Liverpool for several years.

During his four-year spell as a Barcelona player, Coutinho spent the 2019/20 season on loan at German champions Bayern Munich and even scored twice for the Bavarian giants when the two clubs met in the Champions League quarterfinals. He found the back of the net twice for Bayern Munich in the 8-2 mauling of parent club Barcelona. The Germans went on to win the Champions League title by seeing off French giants Paris Saint Germain (PSG) via a 1-0 scoreline in the final.