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Barcelona: Steven Gerrard breaks silence on Coutinho’s Aston Villa links

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Gerrard has praised the Barcelona star amid rumours around Villa’s potential move.

Barcelona are trying to offload some of their top earners in order to register Ferran Torres’ contract. Several sources have reported Phillippe Coutinho is keen to make a move back to the Premier League. 

Aston Villa is not the only English side that is eyeing a move for the Brazil star. However, the presence of Coutinho’s former teammate Steven Gerrard as Villa’s manager might give them an advantage in the transfer race.

Ahead of his side’s upcoming game against Manchester United, Gerrard spoke about Coutinho’s potential transfer.

He said (via Mirror): “He’s won 63 caps for Brazil, played for Barcelona and was incredible at Liverpool.

“I don’t think you get a nickname of ‘The Magician’ if you’re not a special footballer.

“I can understand why a lot of supporters up and down the country are speaking about him.

He added: “He is also linked to five-six other clubs in this league and I am sure there would be a long list of foreign clubs that are linked with Philippe’s services as well.

“You are talking about a world-class individual and player.

“He is someone I’ve got an incredible amount of respect for, but I don’t want to add to any speculation because he belongs to Barcelona.

“I do appreciate his name is out there and he is linked to Aston Villa.

“I appreciate and respect the speculation but I can’t give anything further than that.

“That is not fair or respectful and I wouldn’t like that disrespect coming this way in terms of Aston Villa.”

Since his blockbuster move from Liverpool in 2018, Coutinho has failed to live up to expectations at Camp Nou. The forward is keen to play for Brazil in the next year’s World Cup. However, he will need more game time in order to have a chance for the call-up.