Aston Villa have now ‘reached an agreement’ with Barcelona for the loan transfer of Philippe Coutinho, according to Sport.

The attacking midfielder’s contract expires in 2023 and earlier on Friday, the print edition of the same newspaper reported the La Liga side are in talks with Villa for an 18-month loan deal.

The latest report from Sport relays this information and adds the Catalan club ‘pressed’ for the one-and-a-half-year loan deal. There was even a suggestion Xavier Hernández’s side are pushing for a mandatory purchase option to be included as part of the operation.

However, Sport are now stating the Blaugrana and Aston Villa have agreed for a deal that will see the Brazilian move to Villa Park until the end of the season. In addition to this, there will be an ‘option to buy’ rather than the mandatory clause.

Coutinho played with Steven Gerrard when the two were at Liverpool and the current Villa manager’s ‘insistence has been key’ for the operation to take shape.

The South American is the current top earner at the Camp Nou and his exit, even on loan, will help Barcelona reduce the wage bill, which is necessary to register new signing Ferran Torres.