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David Villa 'had one foot in Arsenal' - Mundo Deportivo

Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo has revealed how close Arsenal were to signing David Villa in January.

David Villa to Arsenal was the big transfer story of the January window which did not come to fruition.

Spain's all-time leading scorer had found himself marginalised since returning from a leg break, and Arsenal had expressed their interest in bringing his talents to North London.

If they had pulled it off, you feel the Gunners would not be in a battle for a top four finish, they would already have secured it.

So how close did it come to happening? Very close according to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

They today ran the headline 'David Villa had one foot in Arsenal', when discussing the striker's recent few months.

The paper claims that Arsenal remain interested in the forward, although their interest has waned somewhat with Stevan Jovetic a summer priority.

In January he was very much their top target, report the paper, with it claimed Villa had given his 'yes' to the switch.

Arsenal offered 10 million Euros for Villa, and while Barcelona wanted more, MD claim Villa was even willing to help out negotiate the final part of the fee.

The reason for his openness to the switch was his keenness for a change of scenery, and the knowledge his role at the club would be that of the main man, rather than second or third fiddle to Lionel Messi as it is at Barcelona, with him frequently rotated with Alexis Sanchez.

So what stopped the deal from happening?

Put simply, Barcelona put their foot down. It was decided by the club that Villa would be necessary for the rest of the season and Barcelona's Champions League campaign and had to stay.

Early doors the move panned out, with Villa netting an important goal in their Champions League second round clash against AC Milan, but when it came to the game against Bayern Munich he did not have a telling impact.

It's a shame for Arsenal, with their interest now said to have 'cooled', because ultimately Villa stayed only to pick up his La Liga medal, which Barcelona had almost wrapped up by January.

Now the latest reports may be even more of a sickener to Arsenal fans; for it is claimed Spurs are interested.

Catalan-based newspaper Sport claims both Tottenham and Atletico Madrid have bid 12 million Euros for David Villa, but Barcelona are holding out for 15. Fortunately for Gooners, Villa is said to prefer Atletico to Tottenham.

Arsenal fans how could Villa have influenced your season? Will the club go back in for him ?

image: © oemar

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