Transfer insider Dean Jones has weighed in on the news linking Aston Villa loanee Philippe Coutinho with a move to West Ham.
The Lowdown: Coutinho at Villa
The Brazil international joined Steven Gerrard at Villa Park in January, signing a six-month loan deal, with the option for the Midlands club to make it permanent for £33m.
The attacking midfielder has entered the final 18 months of his Barcelona contract, and it has been made clear that the Spanish giants are looking to offload him following his underwhelming £146m move.
Coutinho produced a magnificent start to life for Villa, scoring twice and assisting a further two in his opening three games in the English top-flight.
The Latest: Jones’ claims about Coutinho
West Ham have previously been linked with Coutinho, as the Catalan outfit were keen to offload the player in last year’s summer window, but Jones believes that West Ham should be cautious in the battle to sign the 29-year-old.
Speaking to GiveMeSport, he claimed: “I don’t know where I see Coutinho right now. I think West Ham will be mindful of what they’re signing in Coutinho, if they were to go down that path. Because it would take a lot of money.”
The Verdict: Hammers hijacking Villa move?
Coutinho’s Brazil compatriot and former Liverpool teammate Roberto Firmino has stated that the 29-year-old has “magical powers”, and it seems that Gerrard came to the same conclusion during his time with the Reds. Coutinho has said that, despite interest from elsewhere, he chose Villa after being convinced to do so by the 41-year-old, so it’s clear that the two have a good relationship.
Whilst Villa have the option to make the deal permanent for £33m, it has been claimed that they could negotiate the fee even lower. However, Barcelona will sell to the highest bidder, so the question is, will the Hammers have the funds to compete with Villa?
With the Irons making club-record bids for Kalvin Phillips, Raphinha and Darwin Nunez in January, it is safe to say that they have the money to do so. It is just a case of whether they want to spend it on someone in Coutinho who will turn 30 this summer.
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