Arsenal have spoken to Barcelona and tried to persuade them to sell David Villa this January, and the Spanish international is keen on the move, but the Barcelona president has squashed the transfer and told the media so in no uncertain terms. Sandro Rosell has made his mind up and told the Catalan radio station RAC.
“I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the winter market.
“He is ours and we need him and there is a lot of the season left.”
That is pretty clear, then. It does not sound like a manager stating that they do not want to sell a player days before he leaves. Rosell has control over the club, and his word is final. It is a big blow for Arsene Wenger, who had hoped that Villa would be the big name that Arsenal fans wanted and he would have fitted in with the Arsenal team perfectly.
The only bit of silver lining on this cloud is that Rosell specifically mentioned this window. That suggests to me that Villa will be available in the summer. Barcelona are trying to get Neymar at the end of the season and are rumoured to have an agreement in place. With Alexis, Tello and Pedro misfiring, Barcelona are worried about the possibility of Messi picking up an injury, so they are keeping Villa in reserve.
Villa will not be happy, and neither are we, but Wenger is going to have to get somebody else, and quick.