Steven Gerrard says Aston Villa will not be rushed into firming up a permanent deal for Philippe Coutinho despite the Brazilian's increasingly impressive role in his side’s surge up the Premier League table.
Coutinho has one more year to run on his existing contract at Barcelona and Gerrard has already made no secret of his desire to secure the 29-year-old’s services beyond the end of the current campaign, with the club already holding the option to buy the attacking midfielder.
Speaking ahead of his side’s trip to Leeds on Thursday, where they will bid for a third straight win, Gerrard said: "For me it doesn’t make any sense to make any decisions now.
"When he’s physically in the right place, when he’s comfortable and happy and enjoying his football, we all know we’re dealing with a world-class talent.
"We just need to keep enjoying him, to keep him healthy from now until the end of the season and I’m sure he’ll help us. To watch him and work with him and see him get back to his top form and enjoy his football again is a pleasure."
Villa's thumping 4-0 win over Southampton at the weekend lifted them to 11th place and the good news continues for Gerrard with Lucas Digne, Ezri Konsa and Carney Chukwuemeka all available again after missing the clash with the Saints.
But Gerrard acknowledged there is a need to guard against complacency as they prepare to provide the opposition for Jesse Marsch’s first home game in charge of Leeds following the dismissal of Marcelo Bielsa.
"It’s certainly something we have spoken about," added Gerrard. "Where we are in the table we can’t afford to be complacent and we need to keep pushing in every single game.
"It was important after a couple of defeats not to get too down and panic, and at the same time on the back of a couple of wins and the mood changes and everyone is smiling, it’s important you don’t get ahead of yourself.
"I don’t think we’re in a place yet where we can go into a game underestimating anyone and disrespecting the challenge in front of us."
Gerrard played six times at Elland Road for Liverpool and has told his players about the "unique" atmosphere at the ground, which is likely to be enhanced by the positivity surrounding Marsch’s arrival.
"I’m sure he’ll get the Elland Road crowd right behind him – it’s his first home game and we have to be prepared for that," said Gerrard.
"I’m excited to see what he’s going to bring and I think it’s a really positive acquisition from Leeds. Leeds was always a place that I was excited to go and play in, and they are a team and a club that I have got the utmost respect for."