A broken leg suffered last season has seriously limited Barcelona’s David Villa, but that hasn’t hindered interest from Premier League clubs. Yet it appears the first place Catalans are unwilling to part with Villa.
Arsenal and Manchester City are reportedly mulling deals to bring the Spaniard to their respective sides, according to the Daily Mirror.
The 31-year-old striker is seen as City’s replacement for Mario Balotelli, who they shipped out to AC Milan Wednesday for upwards of £19.5 million, pending a medical.
Villa’s market value is roughly £17.5 million, which means City could actually find an excellent replacement for Balotelli and still net £2 million.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger previously stated that the club was out of the running for Villa’s services but will make one final effort, according to the Daily Mail.
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Villa actually favors a switch to the Emirates, but the Gunners don’t have much time left to bring him on. However, the Mail suggested Arsenal may avoid any big signings or moves this go round, and instead wait until this summer.
Wenger even said Wednesday that Barcelona wasn’t keen on shipping out Villa, who has made 14 La Liga appearances this season, recording five goals and two assists.
Arsenal were also eyeing Catalans striker Isaac Cuenca, and Barcelona might be more receptive to loaning him, rather than selling Villa. The 21-year-old Cuenca has started 11 games in La Liga, netting one goal and two assists.
Barcelona has been relatively quiet during this transfer session, but reportedly have made inquiries for goal keepers after Victor Valdes publicly stated he will not re-sign with Camp Nou. Swansea’s Michel Vorm was named as a possible target according to Talk Sport Wednesday.
Liverpool’s Jose Reina is another, according to Metro. The Reds are holding last ditch talks in the hopes of extending their top keeper’s contract, but that may prove difficult, with the 30-year-old beginning his career in Barcelona’s youth camp.
Barcelona is currently riding high above the La Liga standings, and could capture their fourth league championship in the last five seasons.