Aston Villa have entered into dialogue with Barcelona over the permanent signing of Philippe Coutinho this summer, reports the Mail Online.
The Brazilian is currently on loan in the Midlands, having scored four times since his January switch.
Villa have reportedly made the Spanish club an initial offer of £12m, but no fee is yet agreed - Coutinho is under contract at Camp Nou until June 2023.
The midfielder struggled to make himself a regular in four years at Barcelona and is now back in English football, watching the clock tick down on his eye-watering contract - worth a reported £480,000-a-week - which expires in June and allows him to move on a free transfer this summer.
Those financial details are part of the reason why Gerrard's attempts to sign him permanently have hit a stumbling block, even with a £33million fee agreed upon. With Villa only paying 25 percent of his weekly wage, Coutinho would have to take a significant pay cut to stay in the midlands.