Guillem Balague has dampened Arsenal’s summer by confirming the club could have signed David Villa.
The Spanish journalist revealed the Gunners made a £17 million offer for the forward in January but Barcelona were unwilling to sell. The Blaugrana wanted to wait until the summer to let Villa leave after signing Neymar as his replacement.
Villa was available for a fraction of the price they offered in January but they failed to reignite their interest and Atletico Madrid snapped up the striker instead. Balague believes Wenger chose to stay away from making another after seeing Villa in his final six months at Barcelona, not looking like the player he used to be.
“In January, Arsenal came and offered a four-year deal, about 20m Euros and so money for Barcelona. Barcelona said they were not selling.”
“So I think that David Villa, who took his kids to a British school, expected Arsenal to come back but they didn’t, because they saw that David Villa in the last six months was not happy and wasn’t playing well, and they probably thought he is not what he was.”
Atletico took advantage of the situation and signed Villa for a mere £2.13 million that will rise to £3.9 million if he stays for three years. The £50 million they received for Radamel Falcao was spent wisely on his replacement who is likely to be just as successful.
They managed to get such a low price by giving Barcelona first option on youngster Olivier Torres but the decision to sell the player lies solely with Atletico Madrid.