Newcastle set to hijack Philippe Coutinho transfer to Aston Villa as Magpies ‘prepare £1m bonus’ to sign Brazilian star

Newcastle are said to have plotted to hijack Aston Villa’s bid for Philippe Coutinho this summer.

Coutinho, on loan to Villa Park from Barcelona, ​​is expected to leave Camp Nou permanently this summer.

Coutinho is set for a rope transfer this summer

Despite struggling in La Liga since his record £142m move from Liverpool in 2018, the Brazilian playmaker has shown his enduring class under Steven Gerrard.

Since joining in January, the 29-year-old has already had four goals and three assists in ten Premier League appearances.

It’s no secret that Villa want to keep him beyond the six-month loan deal – and a £33.5m permanent move has been mooted.

However, according to Spanish outlet Sport, the newly wealthy Magpies are ready to offer Coutinho a £1million signing bonus to choose St James’ Park instead.

Newcastle catapulted themselves to the top of the table, slipping away from the relegation zone, after a number of impressive signings in January.

Backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, the Toon are expected to continue building a team that will one day challenge the titles – and Coutinho is expected to be part of that plan.

Newcastle set to hijack Philippe Coutinho transfer to Aston Villa as Magpies 'prepare £1m bonus' to sign Brazilian star
Coutinho has been impressive since returning to the Premier League

Meanwhile, Villa boss Gerrard remains patient as the club continue to work to secure the Brazilian’s future.

“For me, it makes no sense to make decisions now,” Gerrard said last month when asked about Coutinho’s future.

“When he’s physically in the right place, when he’s comfortable and happy and loves his football, we all know we’re dealing with world-class talent.

“We just have to continue to enjoy him, keep him healthy until the end of the season and I’m sure he will help us. Watch him and work with him and see him get back to his best form and enjoy new to his football is a pleasure.

Gerrard added: “Phil was successful at Barcelona but he also had difficult times. He got to the stage where he needed a change of scenery and a different film.

“We want to be that movie for him because if we’re going to get to where we want to be, we have to build it around talent like Phil because at his best he’s a top player.

Newcastle set to hijack Philippe Coutinho transfer to Aston Villa as Magpies 'prepare £1m bonus' to sign Brazilian star
Will Coutinho be at Villa Park next season?

“All good teams have game changers that the opponent really cares about before a ball is kicked. Phil has that status and he gives his teammates confidence.

“Our strikers Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings want him in their side because he delivers on the big stage. I don’t control transfer fees or wages.

“All I can do is give my opinion [sporting director] John Lange, [chief executive] Christian Purslow and owners. They watch the games and they will make the final decision. Phil has shown what he is capable of so far.

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