Late on Monday afternoon, reports emerged that Arsenal were entering talks with Barcelona concerning the signature of David Villa.
These were proved to be inaccurate, with the club denying it, and then Arsene Wenger detailing today that he held out little hope of signing the Spaniard.
‘Barca do not want to sell David Villa. They’ve made that very clear,’ Wenger said.
Now a new twist has emerged, with the news Manchester City are to enter the bidding to try and convince Barcelona to part ways with the reportedly unsettled striker.
Having agreed to sell Mario Balotelli to AC Milan for £19.5 million, it is looking likely City will enter the market for a striker, especially having failed to break down strugglers QPR tonight, drawing 0-0.
Now The Mirror report that Villa is a top target for City - running the headline 'Buy Buy Villa' - reporting: "The Mirror has learned that City have already made an enquiry about Villa, with a view to rushing through a deal before Thursday night’s transfer deadline."
Barcelona of course have always maintained they want to keep Villa until the summer at least, but did indicate in early January but they would consider an 'exceptional' offer.
Arsenal were never likely to produce one, with Wenger said to be prepared to offer a maximum of £13.5 million for the striker.
However City's interest changes the dynamic completely from Barcelona's perspective. City are cash rich and have netted nearly £20 million for Balotelli.
Barcelona will likely try to extract a similar amount from City, knowing full well they can afford it. If City want him badly enough, it's likely they will pay it.
And that really will rub salt in the wound for Arsenal fans, having lost so many of their own players to City, missing out on their top target to the reigning champions would be another bitter pill to swallow.
For City, it might be exactly what they need to shake up the title race, despite their dropped points this evening.
Will City sign Villa? How much would convince Barcelona to sell?
image: © oemar