• Premier League

Villa: Barca blocked Arsenal move

ESPN staff
December 13, 2013
David Villa joined Atletico Madrid this summer © AP

Atletico Madrid striker David Villa has confirmed that Barcelona stopped him moving to Arsenal in January.

Widespread reports during the winter transfer window suggested that the Premier League side had bid £12 million for Villa, 32, and that the player himself was open to the move as he was not getting regular games at Camp Nou.

However, the transfer failed to materialise and in the summer Villa instead joined Atletico in a surprise deal worth only €2.1 million up front.

La Roja's all-time record goalscorer told Canal Plus show Espacio Reservado that he had been very tempted by the chance to join Arsenal, but Barca would not let him go at the time.

"I was not playing so I let the club know that the best would be to leave," Villa said. "There was an important offer from an English club. You all know that it was Arsenal. The offer was very good for the club, very good for me. But they did not think it was right for me to leave at that moment, they needed me."

Villa said that Barca had asked him not to move to the Emirates Stadium, and in exchange they made it easier for him to join Atletico once the season had ended.

"You must not regret the decisions which you take," he said. "In this case Barca always showed me a lot of affection, and promised me they would help me leave in the summer. And they did that, so I can only be happy with that."

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