West Ham show interest in Phillipe Coutinho

According to reports, Aston Villa will exercise their right to try and make Phillipe Coutinho an Aston Villa player on a permanent basis. However, reports suggest that West Ham United are also interested in the forward.

The on-loan star’s impressive resurgence this season has sparked interest from elsewhere, with several Premier League clubs reportedly in the mix to sign him.

Spanish publication Sport has claimed the Hammers are ready to scupper Villa’s hopes of signing Coutinho, although several top bookmakers believe otherwise.

According to the most popular betting apps in Ireland, Villa are odds-on favourites to seal a permanent deal for the Brazilian despite his lofty salary.

Coutinho earns €20 million per year with Barcelona but agreed to a 50% reduction to facilitate his move to Villa Park.

Gerrard sings Coutinho’s praises

Given the player turns 30-years-old this summer, he may well have to lower his expectations even further if he is to remain in the Premier League.

Villa manager Steven Gerrard recently confirmed that no decision had been made about Coutinho’s future, although he has been happy with his contribution to the team.

The playmaker has bagged four goals and three assists in 10 appearances for Villa, and Gerrard acknowledged the impact he has made.

“When he’s comfortable, he’s happy and he’s enjoying his football we all know we’re dealing with a world-class talent,” Gerrard told Sky Sports.

“For me, it doesn’t make sense to make any decisions now or say anything else on this, we just need to keep enjoying him and keep him healthy from now until the end of the season.”

Signing Coutinho would be fraught with danger

While Villa reportedly has the option to sign Coutinho for €40m this summer, there are several reasons why a permanent transfer could be risky.

His age and salary demands are top of the list, particularly when considering how similar scenarios have panned out at other clubs.

Arsenal is a great example of a club that has handed out bumper contracts to older players only to rue the decisions further down the line.

Mesut Ozil and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang both took the Gunners to the cleaners and did nothing to justify the massive financial outlay.

Even if Villa can persuade Coutinho to drop his salary to £150,000-per-week on a three-year deal, they would still be looking at a total outlay of more than €60m including the transfer fee.

With Villa in need of reinforcements elsewhere in their squad, particularly in defence, it is debatable whether splashing the cash on Coutinho would make much sense.

Villa remains heavily reliant on goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, and investing significant resources into improving the options directly in front of him must be the priority.

Despite Martinez producing some excellent performances this season, only Leicester City (46) have conceded more goals than Villa (40) in the top half of the Premier League.

If Villa are serious about challenging for the top four next season, Gerrard must focus on upgrading his current options at centre-back.

Shelling out a total package of more than €60m on Coutinho would be a dangerous move to make for a club that must get its transfer business spot on this summer.

Original Source: A Villa Fan

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