Barcelona boss Vilanova rejects talks of Arsenal move for Villa

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova have issued a hands-off warning to Arsenal for David Villa, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Villa scored a brace in midweek in Barca’s 5-0 win over Corboda in the Copa del Rey, but has not had a regular run in the team this season, leading to speculation that he may make a move in the January transfer window to find more regular game time. With Arsenal apparently keen to bring the 31-year-old to the Emirates Stadium, Vilanova has told the Spanish Press that Villa is not going anywhere, insisting: “David is not going to leave. We are very happy with him.

Villa has been a key member of Barcelona’s set-up since his move from Valenica in 2010. He scored 34 goals in his first two seasons with the club, but has found his chances restricted to mainly substitute appearances this season after recovering from injury, with just five goals from 22 appearances in all competitions. However, Vilanova continued to praise Villa, saying: “We know how important he is, like last year when we missed him a lot in the second half of the season. I’m convinced he will help us a lot over the remainder of the season.

Arsenal have been linked with a host of transfer targets this January as they press a claim to a top four spot. The Gunners currently sit sixth in the Premier League, 6 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, albeit with a game in hand.

Arsene Wenger is believed to be keen to bring in another striker to help ease the loss of Robin van Persie in the summer, with new signings Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski still finding their feet in the Premier League.

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