The future of Barcelona flop, Philippe Coutinho, looks as if it could finally be done and dusted on Friday.
That’s certain the belief of Sky Sports, who credit two Premier League clubs with an interest in the Brazilian attacking midfielder.
One of those is believed to be Aston Villa, where Coutinho’s former Liverpool team-mate, Steven Gerrard, is now the manager.
Although, on the face of it, a move could make sense, Gerrard is likely to find out sooner rather than later that the player isn’t the same as the one who used to routinely terrify opposition defences for Liverpool. He’s nowhere close to that.
Can the Villa manager really afford to take on board any player at the moment that’s likely to undo all of the groundwork that he has put in place thus far?
Coutinho, for all of his talent, has been a total let down at Barcelona. There simply has been no redeeming features to his play over the past couple of seasons.
His best period came when he was on loan at Bayern Munich, and frankly, that says everything.
With the greatest respect, the Villains are nothing like the Bavarians, and the Brazilian is likely to find it harder to integrate.
His one signature move – dropping his shoulder to move inside before curling a shot into the opposite corner – won’t work any longer. Defenders and defences are wise to it, and there needs to be much more to his game for him to be considered a success.