Barca lose $230m as flop joins Villa; Hammers captain rejects $148m offer: PL Rumour Mill

Philippe Coutinho is back in the Premier League for good, after Barcelona accepted a transfer fee that is a staggering £129m ($A230m) less than they paid for the Brazilian just four years ago.

Meanwhile, West Ham have copped another massive blow in their bid to lock in captain Declan Rice after he rejected a record $148m contract offer.

Here’s all the latest Premier League transfer drama in our Rumour Mill!

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COUTINHO BACK FOR GOOD

Aston Villa completed the permanent signing of Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho on Thursday in a deal the La Liga club said is worth 20 million euros (£17 million).

The Brazilian has impressed since arriving at Villa on loan in January after struggling to make an impact at Barcelona, having joined the Spanish club from 2018 in a deal worth £146 million.

Barca confirmed the transfer includes a 50 per cent sell-on clause if Coutinho leaves Villa.

The former Liverpool star, who has scored four times and contributed three assists for Villa, has agreed a contract that runs until 2026, and has reportedly taken a 75 per cent wage cut compared to his Barcelona contract.

“This is a brilliant signing for Aston Villa,” Villa boss Steven Gerrard told the club’s website.

“Phil is a model professional 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.”

Coutinho, who spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich, scored 26 goals in 106 appearances for Barca.

Coutinho has been capped 67 times by Brazil and was part of the side that won the 2019 Copa America.

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RICE REJECTS MONSTER DEAL

Declan Rice has reportedly rejected a massive contract offer that would make him the highest-paid player in West Ham history.

The standout midfielder still has two years to run on his current contract, which also includes an option for West Ham to extend it by a further 12 months to 2025.

But the 23-year-old club captain turned down an upgraded contract worth £200,000 per week – or £83m over eight years – as he eyes a potential exit, Sky Sports reports.

Barca lose 0m as flop joins Villa; Hammers captain rejects 8m offer: PL Rumour Mill
NORWICH, ENGLAND – MAY 08: Declan Rice of West Ham United looks on during the Premier League match between Norwich City and West Ham United at Carrow Road on May 08, 2022 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Chelsea and Manchester United are both keen on signing Rice this off-season, but West Ham have slapped a £150m price tag on their star man.

Given the time still remaining on his current contract, the Hammers are in a good position to hold out for a top-dollar bid.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian winger Andriy Yarmolenko will leave the club at the end of the season when his contract expires. Yarmolenko signed four years ago in a £17m transfer from German giants Borussia Dortmund.

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TEN HAG WANTS DE JONG

Manchester United’s new manager Erik ten Hag has a huge rebuild on his hands, particularly in the middle of the park.

Veteran trio Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata are each set to leave Old Trafford as their contracts expire – with Pogba sparking a huge flurry of interest from Juventus, PSG, Real Madrid, and even cross-town rivals Manchester City.

While Fred and Scott McTominay are certainly capable and Bruno Fernandes is an exceptional number ten, ten Hag will be desperate to add depth in the midfield.

Sky Sports reports that Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong is on the shopping list, which comes as no surprise since ten Hag worked with the player at Ajax from 2017 to 2019.

Barcelona’s Dutch midfielder Frenkie De Jong warms up before the Spanish League football match between FC Barcelona and RCD Mallorca at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 1, 2022. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)Source: AFP

De Jong played a crucial role in guiding Ajax to a Champions League semi-final in 2019, a stellar campaign that saw him picked up by Barcelona in a £75m deal.

He has largely failed to match that form in Spain, however, and Barca’s financial woes could inspire them to sell.

However, United won’t play in the Champions League this year, which will make it harder to convince potential signings to fly to Manchester.

And according to The Sun, United is also targeting free transfers to snaffle up some bargains, with Paulo Dybala at Juventus and Ousmane Dembele at Barcelona both coming out of contract.

Stream The EFL Championship Playoffs LIVE with beIN SPORTS on Kayo as four clubs compete for the last EPL promotion spot. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >

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