Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has raved about Barcelona attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho amid speculation linking the former Liverpool star with a move to Villa Park.
Journalist Matteo Moretto has reported on Twitter that Villa are interested in signing Coutinho from Barcelona in the January transfer window.
The Villans are in talks with the Blaugrana over a loan deal with a view to a permanent contract.
The 29-year-old Brazil international, who can also play as a winger, is reportedly keen on a move away from Barcelona this month.
Villa boss Gerrard has raved about Coutinho, but he has not stated whether he wants to sign him or not.
Gerrard told Sky Sports: “Sixty-three caps for Brazil, a serial winner, was incredible at Liverpool, so I can understand why he’s linked to a lot of football clubs, I can understand why a lot of supporters up and down the country are speaking about him.
“I don’t think you get a nickname as a magician if you’re not a special footballer, so he’s someone I have an incredible amount of respect for. But I don’t want to add to any speculation, because he belongs to Barcelona.”
Villa will take on Manchester United away from home at Old Trafford in the third round of the FA Cup on Monday evening.
The Villans can be backed at 22/1 on Betfair to win the FA Cup tie against United 2-0.