MADRID (Sporting Alert) — Barcelona have told Arsenal and other pursuers that David Villa is not for sale, despite reports claiming that the forward is unhappy at Camp Nou.
Villa has been struggling to win a consistent starting place in the Barcelona side and the Spanish media is reporting that he would consider an option to leave as he seeks first team football.
The news apparently alerted Barclays Premier League side Arsenal, who are said to be searching the market for a goalscorer in the January transfer window.
However, Barcelona sports chief Andoni Zubizarreta said Villa remains a key player for the La Liga leaders.
“In January we will keep Villa and it is important to remember that Barcelona is a club that habitually does not accept offers for star players in January,” Zubizarreta was quoted as telling Canal Plus.
“David is a player that brings goals and intensity to the team.
“Now he has recovered from a serious injury I believe that he is offering a good level on the field.
“It is normal that big players desire to play and this is perfect for the competition in the squad.”
When he was recruited from Valencia FC, Villa and Lionel Messi were told that they would be the first choice attacking options for Barcelona, but things have long change.
Messi, who banged in 91 goals in 2012 continues to keep his spot, but Villa for the most part has found himself battling with Pedro and Alexis Sanchez for the other two positions.
Villa transfer saga is expected to continue into the new year and despite Zubizarreta comments, the forward will still be looking for a way to play first team football and keep his place in the Spanish team, even if it means he has to leave.