Steven Gerrard insists Aston Villa still want to make Philippe Coutinho loan permanent

Steven Gerrard insists Aston Villa still want to make Philippe Coutinho’s loan move permanent this summer despite dropping the £30m-rated Brazilian playmaker from their starting XI for the first time at Burnley

Steven Gerrard has insisted Philippe Coutinho’s demotion to the substitutes’ bench at Burnley was not a sign the club were cooling their ambition to sign the Brazilian on loan on a permanent basis.

Coutinho was left out of Gerrard’s starting line-up for the first time since making his Villa debut in January and substitute Emiliano Buendia was the star of the show in the visitor’s 3-1 win, Coutinho n ‘having only been used for the last 12 minutes.

However, Gerrard has responded to Villa’s wish to negotiate a permanent deal with Barcelona for the £30m-rated playmaker.

Philippe Coutinho has been left out of Steven Gerrard’s starting line-up for the first time at Burnley

“We want Philippe Coutinho here,” said Gerrard, who played with him at Liverpool.

“We have five games in 15 days so both Phil and Emi will have enough playing time to stay satisfied. As a club, we want to be in a place where matches are played in quick succession.

“Phil understood the decision, he played a lot. There is no ego here.

Burnley will be hoping centre-back James Tarkowski hasn’t played his last game for the club after limping off early in the second half with a tight hamstring.

Coutinho finally replaced the impressive Emiliano Buendia in the 80th minute

Coutinho finally replaced the impressive Emiliano Buendia in the 80th minute

Already without club captain Ben Mee, losing Tarkowski for the rest of the campaign would be a blow in their relegation fight and the player is out of contract this summer.

“He has tight hamstrings. We don’t know when he’ll be back, we’ll have to see him on Monday or Tuesday. Fingers crossed it won’t be back too much, but James could take a bit longer than returning next weekend.

“He himself knew it was getting a little tight.”

Steven Gerrard's side almost secured their Premier League place by beating Burnley

Steven Gerrard’s side almost secured their Premier League place by beating Burnley

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