Arsenal and Chelsea fighting it out for Barcelona striker Villa

Premier League rivals Arsenal and Chelsea are both in contention to sign Barcelona striker David Villa, the Daily Mail has reported.

Arsenal are said to have enquired into the availability of the former Valencia striker, and been told that he can leave Barcelona on a permanent basis for €16m. With Villa having past 30, however, and with a history of serious injury, Arsene Wenger is unlikely to sanction a move at that price, preferring a loan deal until the end of the season. The Gunners manager would only move for Villa on anything more than a loan deal if the asking price came down, the Mail adds.

Barcelona are not looking to sell Villa, the record goal scorer in the Spanish national team, despite having other options in attack. The La Liga club may change their position by the end of the season, when it is a better time to sign a replacement, but by then it is thought Wenger would have moved on to other targets.

Chelsea are also monitoring Villa’s situation and the prospect of the striker’s arrival at Stamford Bridge has been welcomed by former Barca midfielder Oriol Romeu, but Andres Iniesta, the current Barca midfielder, has admitted he hopes Villa stays at Camp Nou.

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