Wenger to clear out Arsenal ranks to make way for Barca striker Villa
Arsene Wenger will stage a January clear out of his Arsenal squad in order to free up funds to sign Barcelona striker David Villa, the Daily Mirror has reported.
Barcelona are said to be only willing to let Villa leave on a permanent basis, with interest in a loan move from Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Liverpool all knocked back by the Catalans. To sign Villa full-time would cost in the region of £15m, the newspaper claims.
Arsenal have yet to make an official bid for the World Cup winner but are expected to do so once Wenger ushers a few more of Arsenal’s squad players out of the door during the transfer window. Marouane Chamakh has already moved to West Ham United on loan while Andrei Arshavin, Johan Djourou and Sebastien Squillaci are all likely to move on, creating a surplus in the wage budget.
Villa, 31, has been at Barcelona since a 2010 move from Valencia, winning the Champions League, La Liga, Copa del Rey and Club World Cup in his two-and-a-half years with Los Cules. Internationally, Villa has won both the World Cup and the European Championships with Spain, and is the Spanish national team’s all-time top scorer.
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