Aston Villa have signed Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho on a four-year deal from Barcelona for €20m (£17m).
Coutinho, 29, initially joined Villa on a six-month loan in the January transfer window, with Steven Gerrard hoping to be able to then persuade the player to move to Villa Park permanently.
The Brazil international, who made his Villa debut as a substitute against Manchester United on January 15, has so far contributed four goals and three assists in his 16 Premier League appearances.
As a result, Coutinho – who used to play alongside Gerrard at Liverpool – has now decided to swap the Camp Nou for the west Midlands, signing a four-year contract with the club.
Gerrard said: “This is a brilliant signing for Aston Villa. Phil is a professional model and his impact on the group has been very clear since he joined in January.
“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.”
Barcelona say they have agreed to a sell-on clause with Villa that will entitle them to 50 per cent of any fee, should the Premier League side sell Coutinho.
The La Liga club said in a statement: “Barcelona would like to publicly state their thanks to Philippe Coutinho for his commitment and dedication, and wish him success and all the best for the future.”
Coutinho joined Barca from Liverpool in a £146m move in January 2018, and went on to score 26 goals in 106 games for the club.
However, he failed to live up to his huge transfer fee and was sent on loan to Bayern Munich for the 2019/20 campaign amid his struggles to get into the Barca side.