Philippe Coutinho took a substantial pay cut to secure a permanent transfer to Aston Villa from Barcelona, according to a report.
Coutinho joined Villa on an initial six-month loan in January, but manager Steven Gerrard and the club's hierarchy swiftly realised the wanted to make the deal permanent following the Brazilian's fine start to life back in the Premier League.
Villa confirmed a four-year deal for the attacking midfielder on Thursday having successfully negotiated their £33m option to buy the loanee down to just £17m.
90min reported earlier this week that Barça were more than willing to compromise to shift the 29-year-old's £300,000-per-week wages from their books for a cut-price fee, with the player willing to accept a lower salary at Villa Park.
And according to The Telegraph, Coutinho was so desperate to stay at Villa under his former Liverpool teammate's tutelage - despite interest from Arsenal, West Ham and Newcastle - that he took a whopping 70% pay cut to make the move possible.
Barcelona confirmed the Villans parted with just €20m (£17m) to get their man, with the Catalans retaining a 50% sell-on clause.
90min understands the Brazil international's permanent signature represents the first piece business of a busy summer for Gerrard. The head coach will have the full backing of the club's owners to conduct something of an overhaul and put his stamp on the squad following his appointment in November.
Speaking on the attacker's permanent arrival, Gerrard said: “This is a brilliant signing for Aston Villa. Phil is a model professional and his impact on the group has been very clear since he joined in January.
Listen now to 90min's brand new podcast, Talking Transfers, with Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth. On this week's agenda is Erling Haaland's transfer to Manchester City, Ralf Rangnick recommending Konrad Laimer to Manchester United and the latest on the contract situations of Youri Tielemans and Sadio Mane.
“With the way he conducts himself on and off the pitch, he’s also a valuable role model for our younger players who can only benefit from his experience.
“As we look to build towards next season, it is incredible to work at a club that executes its business so decisively and smoothly.”
Coutinho hit the ground running in the West Midlands, scoring four goals and laying on three assists before Villa's form dipped.
Source : 90min