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Aston Villa: Philippe Coutinho tipped to sign on a permanent basis

Aston Villa: Philippe Coutinho tipped to sign on a permanent basis -Aston Villa

Aston Villa remain ‘in the box seat’ to complete the permanent signing of Philippe Coutinho despite interest from two Premier League rivals, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The Lowdown: Coutinho’s loan deal

The Brazilian arrived at Villa Park in January after the Midlands club agreed a six-month loan deal with Barcelona, with the option to make the move permanent for £33m.

The 29-year-old has played five games for Steven Gerrard’s side and has produced two goals and two assists during that time, making an immediate impact.

In his first start at Villa Park, Coutinho was man of the match in the thrilling 3-3 draw with Leeds United, when he scored one goal and set up another two, leading to a phenomenal 8.8 rating from SofaScore.

Having arrived back in England in fine form, the attacking midfielder has garnered interest from rival Premier League clubs, who are looking to lure him away from Gerrard’s grasp.

The Latest: O’Rourke believes Villa are favourites for Coutinho

Transfer insider O’Rourke has weighed in on the Coutinho transfer situation. He believes that Villa remain favourites to sign the Brazil international on a permanent basis, given the inclusion of a purchase option in the loan deal which has brought the 29-year-old to the Midlands.

Speaking to GiveMeSport, the journalist claimed: “They’re in the box seat right now. They’ve got him on loan with an option to buy as well.”

The Verdict: Good move

Coutinho endured a tough spell at Barcelona. After failing to secure a spot in the starting XI following his loan move to Bayern Munich, the attacker struggled to maintain regular game-time.

This became even more difficult when he suffered a rupture of the outer meniscus last season, which kept him out of action for a whopping 220 days.

However, Coutinho looks to be back to a level near his previous best. Before signing for Villa, Gerrard hailed the 29-year-old’s praises, labelling him a “world-class player”.

Former Liverpool teammate Roberto Firmino has also been incredibly complimentary of his Brazil compatriot, claiming that the 29-year-old has “magical powers” and is “one of the very best players in the world”.

If Coutinho is able to keep up his current form, Villa should be more than happy to make the deal permanent; and if he gets back to his best levels with a smile on his face, the Brazilian would likely be more than happy to remain in the Midlands.

In other news: These were Aston Villa’s three worst players against Watford

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Article title: Aston Villa: Philippe Coutinho tipped to sign on a permanent basis

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