Barcelona are close to undoing what was possibly one of their greatest transfer mistakes in recent memory. Philippe Coutinho is close to ending his Camp Nou nightmare and is set to secure a permanent move away from his current employers.

The Brazilian midfielder became Barcelona's club-record signing in January 2018 when he left Liverpool in a move worth £146 million. Coutinho was among the top players in the Premier League at the time of his move, and was expected to take the Catalan club to the next level following his arrival.

However, Coutinho failed to settle in at the Nou Camp and has spent just three seasons with the club since his move. The Brazil international spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich where he won the Champions League without making too much of an impact.

The last six months have been spent with Aston Villa, where he has recaptured some of the form that saw him impress the Premier League with Liverpool. After a struggle to offload him previously, Barcelona are finally close to reaching an agreement with Villa, who are keen to make his loan move permanent in the summer.

According to Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Coutinho is keen to join Steven Gerrard's revolution at Villa Park and has agreed terms with the Premier League club. The Midlands club is now expected to hold talks with Barcelona with regards to the fee, and are expected to negotiate a fee of around €20 million - a far cry from the €170 million Barcelona paid in 2018.

Villa are fighting Crystal Palace for a finish in the top half of the table, and Coutinho has played a part in helping them since his arrival in January. The creative midfielder has pitched in with four goals and three assists, which has prompted his former Liverpool teammate to request the owners to make the move permanent.

Coutinho's exit for a low transfer fee will be a blow to Barcelona, but getting rid of his high wages will be a major boost. The Catalan club are in the middle of a major financial crisis and need to slash their wage bill in a major way in order to make new signings in the summer.

Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images