Barcelona have confirmed that Arsenal target David Villa will not be leaving the Camp Nou in the January transfer window. The Spain forward had been linked to a number of Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, having failed to secure a regular place in the Barcelona first team since his return from a broken leg this season.
But Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has said they do not want to lose the 31-year-old for the remainder of the season.
"I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the winter market,” he told Catalan radio station RAC.
"He is ours and we need him, there is a lot of the season left."
Spanish journalist Guillem Balague recently revealed that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had contacted Villa about a potential move but had been rebuffed. The situation could well change in the summer, however, if Villa remains in his current predicament.
It appears Arsenal will have to look elsewhere for a forward that they are believed to be keen to add to their squad this month. However, Wenger could soon get a boost with reports that Theo Walcott is poised to end speculation over his future by signing a new contract.
The 23-year-old is currently free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club, with his current deal set to expire in the summer. According to Goal.com, though, Walcott will sign a new contract this week to tie him to the club until 2017.
The report claims that the deal will be worth £90,000 a week as well as a multi-million pound signing-on fee.
It was reported that Walcott rejected a contract worth £75,000 a week in August, although the England international has stated that his main concern was getting the opportunity to play in his favored role as a striker.
With Walcott getting his chance to play centrally in recent weeks and having scored regularly of late, it appears there was a greater willingness on both sides to thrash out a deal.
Another objective in January for Wenger is believed to be strengthening his central midfield. No replacement was brought in for Alex Song last summer and the man upon which big hopes were placed, Abou Diaby, has again missed the majority of the campaign to date through injury.
The Independent reports that Arsenal are rekindling their interest in Anderlecht’s Lucas Biglia, who was a potential target in the last transfer window.
The 26-year old is an Argentina international and has been at Anderlecht since joining from Independiente in the summer of 2006. It is believed that he could be available for £8 million.
Although Biglia has played in the Champions League this season, because Anderlecht have been eliminated from Europe, he could be added to Arsenal’s squad for the knockout phase.
Finally, Metro reports that Arsenal have rejected Rennes’ offer of a cut-price deal for midfielder Yann M’Vila. The 22-year-old has been repeatedly linked with the Gunners over the past year, however it is believed that the player’s repeated disciplinary issues both on and off the pitch have dissuaded Wenger from making a move.
M’Vila is banned from representing France at any level until after the 2014 World Cup after an unauthorized night out while on duty with the France Under-21 side.
Queens Park Rangers are now believed to be interested, with Arsenal said to have even turned down Rennes’ valuation of £8 million.