Barcelona are close to confirming a deal for Philippe Coutinho, who is expected to leave the club on a permanent basis and join Aston Villa in England. The Catalan club could engineer a second midfielder deal with Frenkie de Jong heavily linked with a move to Manchester United in the summer.

The La Liga giants are struggling financially with an over-inflated wage bill and crippling debt. Barcelona are desperate to offload a number of players to raise funds in order to aid Xavi Hernandez' desire to further strengthen his first-team squad.

Barcelona have made a number of first-team stars available for transfer, but have not attracted suitors willing to match their valuation and pay the players their desired wages. The Catalan giants are finally making progress with Coutinho expected to join Villa on a permanent basis in the coming days.

The Brazil international has been on loan with the Premier League club since January and the Midland club's manager Steven Gerrard is keen to make his loan move permanent. According to Fabrizio Romano, Villa are expected to part with around €20 million, which is a far cry from the €170 million Barcelona paid Liverpool to sign him in 2018.

Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

"Official statement expected very soon for Philippe Coutinho to join Aston Villa on a permanent deal. Agreement completed yesterday, part of paperworks already signed few hours ago," Romano wrote.

Coutinho's exit will come as a major boost for Barcelona in terms of slashing their wage bill. Similarly, they also want to offload De Jong to United in the summer in order to raise more capital to help Xavi.

The Dutch midfielder joined the Camp Nou outfit from Ajax in 2019 and has been a regular fixture in the starting XI since. De Jong has failed to capture the form he showed with the Eredivisie side, but remains highly-rated by clubs across Europe.

Xavi is not keen to sell him, but Barcelona are aware that this summer if their best chance to recoup most of the €75 million they paid for him before he begins to lose value. Manchester City remain interested, but as per Gerard Romero, the Red Devils are the frontrunners at the moment.

The Netherlands international's former coach Erik Ten Hag is taking over the reins at Old Trafford and is keen to reunite with his former player. However, United's lack of Champions League football could pose as an obstacle, but reports claim that there is a big chance that he could be playing his football in England next season.

Frenkie de Jong
Lionel Messi with Frenkie de Jong at the end of Barcelona's 2-0 win away to Juventus Marco BERTORELLO/AFP