In what is perhaps the most predictable news of the day The Daily Mail is running with the story that after crisis talks with Ivan Gazidis Arsene Wenger is going to have one last try to sign David Villa in the window.
The Mail says
Arsenal remain in pursuit of Barcelona striker Villa, despite Wenger insisting yesterday that a potential deal for the Spaniard was dead in the water.
The Gunners will make a final offer to Barca chiefs in the next 24 hours in a bid to bring him to the Emirates, with Villa understood to be keen to join the Gunners.
The trouble for Wenger is that he might have to think about upping his bid a little to stave off a possible challenge for the player from the newly minted Man City. With the best part of £20 million jingling in his pocket Roberto Mancini needs another striker to replace Mario Balotelli and according to the Mirror David Villa more than fits the bill.
The Mirror says
The Mirror has learned that City have already made an inquiry about Villa, with a view to rushing through a deal before Thursday night’s transfer deadline.
City boss Roberto Mancini wants to bring his quota of senior strikers back to four after finally getting rid of Balotelli and sees Villa as the ideal recruit.
Ex-Barca officials Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, now City’s chief executive and sporting director respectively, could use their contacts at their former club to help seal a deal.
Although Barca do not want to sell Villa, Eastlands bosses are hoping an offer of £15m could tempt them to part with the 31-year-old, who has a poor injury record.
If City are serious their deep financial reserves and their relationships with Barcelona would seem to put them in pole position. In Arsenal’s favour Villa is alleged to favour a move to London and they are also owed a significant amount of cash by Barca for the Song and Fabregas deals.
How galling would that be for Arsenal fans? Lose a load of players to City and then they grab your top transfer target.
I have said it before, and I’ll say it again – this one is going to to the wire.