Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho signs for six months at Aston Villa
Aston Villa completed the signing of the Brazillian midfielder and former Liverpool favourite on a six-month loan deal with an option to buy upon its expiry announced on Friday morning (January 7).
Spanish outlet La Porteria claimed Coutinho had begun house hunting in the West Midlands ahead of the Villa signing announcement.
So what can Coutinho and the family expect from life in Birmingham?
Luxury homes in leafy Solihull or Four Oaks
When it comes to where to live as a family, there are many luxurious homes up for sale in the region which Ainê and Philippe may have already considered as a dream home for themselves and their three children.
Upmarket Solihull or leafy Four Oaks in Sutton Coldfield have proven popular with football families previously.
There is currently a stunning family home available to buy on Four Oaks estate alongside Sutton Park offering seven bedrooms with four en-suites,a n orangery, cinema and games room and two garages - with a price tag of £2.5m
Or, if they prefer the south side of Birmingham, properties currently available in Solihull include a gorgeous Grade II listed home in Meriden described as “one of the finest properties in the area”. It features five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a gymnasium and a luxury spa.
The picturesque grounds cover 3.8 acres and feature a lake and summer house. It’s on the market for £3m.
Shopping at designer stores
Wags are renowned for loving the latest designer looks. Alex Gerrard, the wife of Coutinho’s new boss, was often seen as one of the most influential wags alongside Victoria Beckham and Colleen Rooney during his England days and was often snapped by paparazzi leaving trendy Liverpool fashion boutique Cricket.
Here in Birmingham the closest comparison for Ainê may be city centre store Flannels where she and Philippe could be kitted out head to toe in designer brands from Gucci and Balenciaga to Balmain and Jimmy Choo.
Ainê, originally from Portugal, might also enjoy a personal shopping experience with the experts at Selfridges’ flagship store in the Bullring or Harvey Nichols where a private suite awaits where vips are treated to champagne and canapés while their shopping is chosen for them.
Birmingham’s fast-paced and ever-evolving dining scene will offer up lots of options for Philippe and his family whether it be a family lunch or a discreet dinner with her husband.
For dinner the couple could enjoy an intimate table at Tattu - the Chinese-infused restaurant popular with the city’s high-fliers and offering them the chance to get mouthwatering delicacies such as a £55 Green Pepper Lobster under the blossom fronds that adorn the ceiling.
They may also enjoy the Italian-style tapas at Fumo or enjoy a Birmingham favourite, a curry at Ashas popular with Hollywood actors Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger whenever they are in town.
Like many of the Aston Villa squad, Philippe and his family may well use the luxurious Belfry Golf and Spa Resort resort as a base while they find a home to locate to one the region.
Philipe may enjoy playing 18 holes on the Ryder Cup-hosting Brabazon Course, Ainê can chill in the Fire and Ice Spa where a day’s relaxation involves taking advantage of the bio-thermal rooms and pools before a relaxing massage and facial.
Enjoying a night out
If Ainê wants to paint the town claret and blue with the wives of her husband’s new team, where better than footballers’ favourite hangout Nuvo in Brindleyplace? Here she can enjoy sumptuous sushi at Oko bar before dancing the night away in the club’s exclusive first floor VIP area where guests enjoy champagne cocktails all served to them in their very own booth.
If a family night is called for they might enjoy bowling at Lane 7 or a jungle-themed mini-golf game at Tree Top Adventure Golf in the Bullring.
Transfer talk - here’s what NationalWorld’s Jason Jones predicted ahead of Coutinho being signed by Villa
Life in Barcelona may have been a very different pace but there is certainly much to keep the family occupied here in Birmingham not least the excitement of match days where Villa Park is now a 42,000 sell-out every game and where Ainê and her family will no doubt enjoy cheering on Steve and the boys from the luxury of her very own box. Here guests are treated to pre-match dinner and drinks from their very own perch in the Trinity Road stand - a luxury which will set the new Villa boss back £35,000 a year.
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