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Aston Villa boss Gerrard confirms plans to keep hold of Coutinho

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard admits he wants to sign permanently on-loan midfielder Philippe Coutinho.

Coutinho has three goals and three assists in seven games since Gerrard brought in his old Liverpool team-mate from Barcelona in January.

"Phil was successful at Barcelona but he had difficult periods as well," said Gerrard. "He got to the stage where he needed a change of scenery and a different movie.

"We want to be that movie for him because if we want to get to where we want to be, we need to build it around talents like Phil, because at his best he is a high-level player.

"All good teams have game-changers who the opposition are really concerned about before a ball is kicked. Phil has that status and he is giving belief to his team-mates.

"Our strikers Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings want him alongside them because he delivers on the big stage. I don't control transfer fees or wages. All I can do is give my opinion to (sporting director) Johan Lange, (chief executive) Christian Purslow and the owners. They are watching the games and they will make the final decision. Phil has shown what he is capable of so far."


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