PHILIPPE COUTINHO has agreed to take a colossal pay cut of over 70 per cent in order to join Aston Villa, according to reports.
The Brazilian had been earning massive wages with Barcelona, figures Aston Villa would certainly not be able to afford without breaking apart their financial structure.
However, now Coutinho is thought to have cut his wages in order to force through a £17m move to play under Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, his former team-mate at Liverpool.
He had been earning an incredible £480,000-a-week at Barcelona – Villa had paid him £120,000 a week during his loan spell.
Coutinho, 29, has been on loan at Villa from Barcelona since January and scored four goals.
But a permanent deal was announced by the club’s chief executive Christian Purslow at Villa’s end of season awards dinner.
Villa had a £33million option to buy inserted in the loan move – but appear to have done a permanent deal for far less.
And around £125MILLION below what Barca paid Liverpool for him in 2018.
Coutinho said: “I’m really happy and excited about the future.
“I’ve been made to feel welcome since day one, I believe in this squad and think they can achieve really good things next year.”
FREE BETS AND SIGN UP DEALS – BEST NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS
Gerrard played a major role in bringing the playmaker in and said: “This is a brilliant signing for Aston Villa.
“Phil is a model professional and his impact on the group has been very clear since he joined in January.
“With the way he conducts himself on and off the pitch, he’s also a valuable role model for our younger players who can only benefit from his experience.
“As we look to build towards next season, it’s incredible to work at a club that executes its business so decisively and smoothly.”
Barcelona have confirmed the deal includes a 50 per cent sell-on clause.
Coutinho moved to the Now Camp from Liverpool in 2018 in a deal worth £146million – but despite helping the Spanish club to two league titles, he spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich.