• La Liga

Barcelona warn Arsenal off Villa

ESPN staff
January 8, 2013
David Villa has made just six La Liga starts this season © PA Photos

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has warned Arsenal that David Villa will be going nowhere in January.

The Spain international has been linked with a move to the Premier League after struggling to hold down a first-team place - he has been restricted to just six starts in La Liga this season.

Arsenal were thought to be leading the race for the striker's signature, and having already offloaded Marouane Chamakh on a six-month loan deal to West Ham, they are expected to add to their ranks this month.

However, Rosell insists Villa, who was a substitute for Barcelona's 4-0 win over Espanyol at the weekend, is not for sale.

"I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the winter market," Rosell told Catalan radio station RAC1. "He is ours and we need him, there is a lot of the season left."

According to a report in the Sunday People at the weekend, Wenger has spoken to Villa personally in an attempt to convince to striker to make the switch to north London.

Rosell was less definite when asked about the future of former Barca coach Pep Guardiola, who told reporters in Zurich on Monday that he would soon return to football.

The one time Nike executive said he had spoken with his former colleague at the event, but they did not discuss which clubs Pep might join next season.

"We did not speak about that," Rosell said. "He has not given up being a professional. It is normal that at his age and after a year off charging his batteries he would want to return to coaching."

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