Maybe Barcelona thought that Arsenal were just spinning them a line in order to get David Villa to transfer to the Emirates in January, but they will find that Arsene Wenger meant what he said when he told them it was a now or never deal. Even though the Spanish international wanted the move, Barca stubbornly refused to accept Arsenal’s bid, and they will not be getting another.
When the Catalan side faced Real Madrid on Wednesday, it was painfully clear to all concerned that Barcelona’s talk of Villa being a valued member of the team was just that, talk. In a crucial game against their bitterest rivals, which ended 1-1, Barca had lots of chances to score which they spurned. Messi had an off day, while Pedro has been struggling for goals all year. Villa had to remain on the bench while Barca brought on Alexis Sanchez, a striker so out of form that he has forgotten what to do if he ever does score a goal.
The 31-year old is not happy about the situation, playing second fiddle to a striker who has yet to find the net after 14 league games, and tried to force the move to Arsenal, but the club stubbornly refused. Wenger must be seething, and there is no way he will go back to Barca now. After Wenger did not try to block the transfer of Alex Song, which he could have done, the way Barcelona have behaved is frustrating and arrogant, and I hope we never do business with them again.
I feel sorry for Villa, he seems to be a completely innocent party in this and just wants to play football at the top level while he still can, but Arsenal will look elsewhere in the summer. Barcelona seem to have a very short memory, because after publicly courting Fabregas and breaking FIFa rules while they did it, lots of their players were in the papers talking about the potential move, trying to put pressure on the Gunners. The Barca captain, Carles Puyol, was quoted as saying,
“I do not feel a club should keep a footballer who wants to leave.”
Funny that, Puyol, because that is just what your club has done, and you don’t even use him. Pay us back the money you owe us Barca, and do one. They should have been investigated by Uefa for the Fabregas deal, but they seem to be untouchable with football’s hierarchy. I hope Real Madrid turn them over in the second leg.