Steven Gerrard decision to cost Aston Villa £17m as Unai Emery bears the brunt

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Aston Villa may have to bear the expensive brunt of a costly transfer decision made by Steven Gerrard.

The Villans are reportedly considering letting Philippe Coutinho leave on a free transfer this summer, some two years before his contract is set to expire.

The former Liverpool hero joined Villa permanently in the summer of 2022 after an initial successful loan spell, costing £17 million from Barcelona. Coutinho initially recorded five goals and three assists in 19 games but he hasn’t been able to match or even come close since, with just one goal throughout Unai Emery’s reign so far.

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Coutinho headed out on loan to the Qatar Stars League last summer as he joined Al-Duhail on a season-long loan deal. The 31-year-old recovered his form somewhat, netting six and making three assists in 21 matches, but Emery still hasn’t been impressed enough to want to keep the midfielder around.

GIVEMESPORT reports Villa are seriously contemplating terminating Coutinho’s contract to ease pressure on the wage bill. The Brazilian’s weekly salary is claimed to be £135,000-per-week and the Villans don’t believe he’s worth the expense anymore.

So much so, Villa would be taking a straight £17 million loss on the fee paid, recouping zilch from what has proven to be an expensive mistake by Gerrard and the recruitment team. There has been speculation over a potential £5 million return to Coutinho’s first club, Vasco da Gama, but that noise has quietened.

Former Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard, as an ex-teammate, played a key role in signing Philippe Coutinho.Former Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard, as an ex-teammate, played a key role in signing Philippe Coutinho.
Former Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard, as an ex-teammate, played a key role in signing Philippe Coutinho. | Getty Images

Tearing up a deal is a complicated matter and one that would usually cost a hefty payout but GMS claims Coutinho is just as keen to end this chapter of his career as Villa are. As a result, the player is said to be willing to come to a cheaper settlement in order to seal a move away.

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