Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur (as well as sporadic interest from Liverpool) were already being linked with a summer move for Spanish international striker David Villa of Barcelona before those rumours garnered credence via the £49 million transfer of a well-known Brazilian starlet.
When Neymar arrived all bets seemed off. Spanish and English press were in agreement. No matter what was said officially Villa would be leaving the Nou Camp for a long awaited onslaught on the English game.
It certainly seems that someone has to leave the club and even Carles Puyol himself rather unfortunately revealed his belief that Villa was definitely leaving.
But club president’s do have a tendency to be far more defensive then that of their players when it comes to potential departures.
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell is certainly not as assured as Puyol when it comes to the future of Spain’s record goalscorer.
Until proven otherwise, David Villa is still a Barca player, And it will remain that way until next year, this is our commitment."
Villa’s current contract currently runs until the end of the upcoming season and it seems they are taking a similar tact to Borussia Dortmund in regards to Robert Lewandowski and are more than happy to watch his contract expire at the club rather than sell him.
It is just another stumbling block in the protracted pursuit of the 31-year-old forward as the revelation he was due a massive pay-rise in Catalonia this month increased doubt over the North London rival’s commitment to matching or even getting near his €11 million-a-year salary.
Along with Barcelona’s unwillingness to negotiate at a price below €15 million the transfer saga of David Villa looks set to continue for a long while now.
But do not be surprised if he does end up in North London. Both clubs are notoriously slow movers in the transfer window as they wait for prices to drop nearer to the 31st August deadline and many a club president has declared ‘not for sale’ on players before; only to send them packing a month later.
This deal is far from dead.
image: © Jason Bagley