Aston Villa are one of six Premier League sides battling for a transfer for Philippe Coutinho, who their CEO Christian Purslow criticised Liverpool for selling to Barcelona four-years ago.
Coutinho left Anfield for the Camp Nou in the January 2018 market after the Reds accepted a £105m bid. The fee included £37m in add-ons, and marked vast profit for the Merseyside outfit. He had joined the club from Serie A side Inter Milan five-years early for just £8.5m.
But former Liverpool Managing Director Purslow blamed the club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, for putting profit before trophies. He told Sky Sports the Reds put their Champions League and top-four hopes at risk by selling the midfielder, too.
Aston Villa now eye Coutinho transfer
Yet Coutinho has struggled to live up to his price tag since leaving Liverpool, and Aston Villa now hope to strike a transfer with Barcelona. Sky Sports claim the Villa Park natives are one of six Premier League clubs keen. Coutinho also wants to seal a move away this week.
The Brazilian is eager to return to England with an ambitious side, with the Villans making tentative enquiries. Boss Steven Gerrard is a big fan of the playmaker, too, from their time together at Anfield. But his €9m-a-year (£145k-a-week) wage after tax could be a problem.
Additionally, Cadena COPE note Aston Villa have spoken with Barcelona over a transfer for Coutinho. The deal would be for a loan for the remainder of the season as he seeks regular game time. The 29-year-old has only played 792-minutes over 14 outings so far this term.
Purslow criticised Liverpool for accepting Barcelona bid in 2018
Purslow negotiating a transfer for Aston Villa to sign Coutinho would show his continued appreciation of the Barcelona ace he criticised Liverpool’s owners for selling four-years ago.
“To effectively put money in the bank and take a player away – any football expert would say the likelihood of winning the Champions League without him has reduced, the likelihood of coming fourth is reduced, and they have already gone out of the FA Cup – is in pure footballing terms, a gamble,” Purslow said.
He added: “This player is a starter for Brazil, playing brilliantly. If Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Barcelona are all in for Coutinho on the back of a World Cup, this player may have been £200m.
“The winners were Barcelona, the losers were Liverpool – other than their bank balance. Fans don’t care about bank balances, they care about winning.”
Purslow left his position at Liverpool in 2010 after playing a key role in FSG’s takeover, per talkSPORT. He joined Aston Villa in 2018 to replace Keith Wyness as their chief executive.
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