Posts Tagged ‘David Villa’

Accessories, Football

Arsenal update: Higuain deal close, Payet buzz, Villa off to Spurs?

By Stefano on June 24th, 2013

There is still no hard news coming out of Madrid this morning, which means that several news sites are running with ‘Gonzalo Higuain deal gets even closer’ type stories. At least a couple of sites have claimed that an Arsenal entourage are in Madrid and that Wenger may be jetting out to join them soon.

Goal also says that Higuain’s father has confirmed that talks between Real Madrid and potential suitors Arsenal and Juventus are at an “advanced stage” regarding the striker’s transfer.

Gunners officials have travelled to Madrid in order to finalise a move for the 25-year-old with Arsene Wenger’s side looking to tie up a deal for just over €20 million, while the Spanish club are looking for a figure of over €25m. The Premier League club have already agreed a contract with Higuain that will start with a wage of €115,000-a-week.

The reason why the deal hasn’t go through is largely believed to be because Real Madrid are without a manager at the moment. So it may take a week more before it all gets finalised.

Meanwhile Touchlinetalk has the lowdown on another key Arsenal target Florent Dimitri Payet. The site runs through the career history of the Frenchman who can play as a winger or an attacking midfielder. Payet is said to be a selfless player on the pitch and notched up a very impressive 18 assists at Lile this eason. He can however have his immature moments too highlighted by his altercation with former teammate Blaise Matuidi and failing to turn up to training. It will be interesting to see how this on pans out.

Finally it seems that Arsenal’s interest in Barcelona’s David Villa has dwindled away to nothing. According to a report in El Mundo Deportivo on Monday morning Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas has instructed new director of football Franco Baldini to close a deal for Villa.

The disappointment for Villa is that Spurs can’t offer the player Champions League football, this season anyhow. Arsenal can give the player that platform but seem to have lost interest in signing the prolific Barca striker.



Football

Arsenal update: Update on Williams, Villa and Gervinho

By Stefano on June 14th, 2013

Well we must be nearing the transfer deadline window proper – it opens on July 1st – as a lot of those apparent ‘done deals’ are now looking very wobbly, which in my book equates to selling clubs holding out for more money.

The one that saddens is me a little is the news coming from Swansea that Arsenal and the Welsh club have failed to get anywhere on the possible transfer of centre back Ashley Williams. I think a lot of Arsenal fans believe that the player would be a solid addition to the Arsenal defence especially if Thomas Vermaelen heads off. Sadly Swansea want £10 million and Arsenal are reputed to have only offered around £8 million. I wonder if this will be another Cahill with someone else sneaking in quickly and nabbing the player.

Williams is quoted as saying

“I play my football for Swansea City and now I’m just going away and looking forward to a holiday,”

“I’ve said before, I’ll take it (Arsenal rumours) as a compliment, it means you’re doing your job well. I’ve done that this time, I haven’t looked too far into it.”

Another player who also apparently won’t be joining Arsenal this summer is David Villa. Barca’s Sandro Rosell has moved to squash speculation that the Spanish striker will be leaving the club by saying.

“Until is otherwise the case, David Villa remains a Barca player and our desire is that he will remain so until next year.”

Villa’s contract runs out in summer 2014, so he could in theory stay on at the club until he is a few moths shy of his 33rd birthday.

I wonder too if valuations from Arsenal and Spurs have fallen well short of what the Catalan club were hoping.

Finally this morning there has been a lot of speculation over the future of Arsenal winger Gervinho. After a hit and miss season – well a couple in fact – the player is being linked with a return to France with Marseilles keen to secure his services.

This is a profile that interests us, yes. We want flank players, with dribbling, passing and scoring and Gervinho has this profile,” Marseille assistant coach Franck Passi yesterday.

Arsenal fans are you bothered if the Ivorain goes. He hasn’t exactly set the Premiership alight but there have been glimpses of his huge potential too.



Football

Five reasons why Arsenal haven’t made any big signings yet – Wenger, Jovetic, Fabregas

By Stefano on June 6th, 2013

So no Jovetic, Higuain or Rooney. Well not yet anyhow.

Here are five possible reasons why Arsenal still haven’t secured that marquee signing.

1 Arsene Wenger’s contract talks got in the way – Today Arsenal’s CE Ivan Gazidis has said that he expects Arsene Wenger to sign a new contract very shortly. Maybe all the talk about his future was weighing on the Frenchman’s mind and that until it was sorted he wasn’t prepared to make those big signings the fans crave.

2 The Cesc Fabregas factor - I am still convinced that Arsenal were on the verge of signing Stevan Jovetic in the week following the end of the season. It didn’t happen for a number of reasons, but chief among them was the surprise ‘availability’ of Cesc Fabregas. As is well documented if Cesc did choose to leave Barca Arsenal would be his preferred destination. For Wenger to accommodate Fabregas in the team he would need to play him as a second, or ghost striker, which is almost the certainly the role he has envisaged for Jovetic. Until the Fabregas issue is resolved either way Wenger won’t sign a big money second striker.

3 The transfer money-go-round has not quite kicked off yet – There is always a point each summer when some club or other – previously it was Man City and Chelsea and this year it is also Monaco and PSG – start splashing the cash. This then kick starts the transfer market. Were Juventus, for example to sign either Higuain or Jovetic it would make the other one’s position clearer (and knock a few million of their price too).

4 The internationals – Several players, David Villa among them, have said that they expect their futures to be sorted out after the international games finish. Most of the friendlies will be over with a week and then the players and the agents will have time to focus on sorting out their futures.

5 Wenger still doesn’t know who he wants – So is the Frenchman indecisive in the transfer market? Well even if you think so you can’t deny that there have been many players who have slipped through the net because the Arsenal manager couldn’t make his mind up about them – Juan Mata and Gary Cahill being two very good examples. Also even with that stash of cash in the bank Wenger isn’t going to suddenly splash out large transfer sums and huge wages – that just isn’t his style.

If you want a few more…

He needed to offload the dead wood – some of this happened yesterday.

Jovetic can’t make his mind up either – his quotes about coming to Arsenal have been contradictory

He might be about to gamble on one huge signing – Cavani? Rooney?

Season ticket sales are going well – If they hadn’t been you can bet Arsenal would have signed a player before the renewals finish tomorrow

Any more?



Football

Arsenal go head to head with Spurs for David Villa. Could Wilfried Bony be the back up plan?

By Stefano on June 5th, 2013

This afternoon has seen a bit of news on a couple of players who Arsenal have apparently been tracking for ages.

The first is an update from Talksport about the possible future of Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony. In case you missed the chat from a few weeks ago Bony has impressed Wenger, and indeed half of Europe with his phenomenal goal scoring exploits last season.

The Ivorian banged in astonishing 31 goals in 30 league matches in the Eredivisie, which has brought him to the attention of not just The Gunners but also Liverpool, and West Ham.

It seems now that the Bony issue could come to a head with Benfica manager Jorge Jesus about to bid for the player. If he does it might then trigger moves from other Premiership clubs.

Bony is likely to be relatively cheap – well compared with the likes of say Higuain, Jovetic and even Benteke. However the Dutch league isn’t really one of Europe’s strongest so the jury is out on whether he can perform something similar in the Premiership.

At the other end of the scale, veteran Spanish striker David Villa has been talking about his future. In news reported by Catalan publication El9 Villa is being chased by Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal.

Interestingly El9 states that the Spurs are offering the most money with a 15 million Euro bid on the cards, but Arsenal could yet gazump Spurs as they can offer Champions League football.

Villa said…

“I have another year of contract and today I am a Barca player,”

“After the Confederations Cup I will sit down and analyze everything.

“For now, I’m happy to be in the best club in the world.

“I have a contract with them and after my holiday I will see see what happens.”



Football

Arsenal update: Wenger speaks about Rooney and Fabregas and has Villa signed a pre-contract deal?

By Stefano on June 3rd, 2013

Arsene Wenger has been speaking to Al Jazeera and may or may not have been dropping some pretty serious hints about who he fancies signing in the summer.

Judging by these words I think we can safely assume that Wayne Rooney, who Wenger has previously described as most talented English player he had seen, is on his radar

“Rooney could be an interesting player for everybody in the world, who would turn him down?

“David Moyes’ first challenge is to go in to Manchester and bridge the gap between him and Rooney. If that is feasible or not depends on his personality and if Rooney bears a grudge or not, we will see.

“It will be interesting to see how that will be handled.”

Of course Rooney may end up staying at United, but Arsenal would be a great choice for the England player if he decides to stay in England. His wages might be a problem, but if Rooney is set on leaving United and staying in the Premiership he might have to be prepared to take a hit,

Wenger has also been lavishing praise on another Arsenal target – their former caption Cecs Fabregas

“I think at the moment he’s lacking the confidence of being a regular player,” said Wenger. “Recently he has not been that.

“Cesc is such a passionate player, a player of such quality, that it must hurt him not to play in every single game. That’s what he misses. When you come in and out you never play with full confidence.”

If Fabregas does decide to leave Barcelona it is highly likely that he will return to Arsenal. I think though the smart money is on him sticking it out for another year at least.

There’s more here.

Speaking of Barcelona Talksport is reporting that striker David Villa has apparently signed a pre-contract deal with Arsenal.

Spanish football expert Axel Torres says he has been told by a source that Barcelona striker David Villa wants to move to England, with the Spain international reportedly showing the club’s board an pre-contract agreement to sign for Arsenal.

The ball is then in the Catalan club’s court, but with Neymar in the bag and other possible moves opportunities might be fairly limited for Villa at the Nou Camp next season.



Football

Arsenal update: Guillem Balague says £10 million bid for David Villa

By Stefano on May 20th, 2013

There is some real confusion about where David Villa will be playing football next season. However it seems very unlikely that he will be joining any clubs that can’t offer him Champions League football so that means Spurs and Liverpool are out of the picture.

So then where does that leave Arsenal?

A couple of sources are quoting Spanish football expert Guillem Balague who has said that Arsenal have bid around £10m for the Spanish striker.

Balague also tweeted

Spurs, Arsenal, Liverpool all interested in him. So is Atletico Madrid. It’s still waiting time for Villa

So it seems that Villa’s decision is going to be between Atletico Madrid and Arsenal.

That is if Arsene Wenger wants him. Back in January he would have been a very good buy for Arsenal. In May though Wenger, with all his cash and a CL place in the bag, has a lot more options. And then there are those nagging doubts about his poor form in the second half of the season, that injury and his advancing years.

Would you still take him?



Football

Arsenal update: David Villa – it is us or Spurs?

By Stefano on May 17th, 2013

So David Villa’s quest to re start his carer in North London and the Premiership continues, however the news this morning is that the Spanish striker might not heading for his expected destination

The Barca man, who very nearly joined Arsenal in the winter window is, according to radio station Cadena Ser and newspaper Mundo Deportivo, on his way to White Hart Lane and that a £15million fee has already been agreed between the two clubs.

However any deal is predicated on whether or not Spurs qualify for the Champions League.

Presumably if Arsenal qualify then the striker will want to join the red and white half of North London.

So what is really going on? I wonder if the Vila rumour is similar to supposed Arsenal deals for Higuain and Jovetic.

Maybe agreements have been signed but are only going to be activated if the club achieves Champions League football.

Both Arsenal and Spurs will need to announce some big transfers on Monday to ensure that, in these recessionary times, those wavering over renewing their season tickets cough up the cash.

Personally I think Villa is too old and out of form for £15 million. What do you think?



Football

Arsenal update: David Villa, Lukasz Piszczek, Julian Draxler

By Stefano on May 10th, 2013

Another of the winter’s main targets for Arsene Wenger is back in the news again. Barca’s David Villa is the subject of much speculation this morning as it was revealed that he allegedly had one one foot at Arsenal in the winter.

Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo claims that the North Londoners had offered £8.5m for the 31-year-old, but the La Liga leaders wanted a larger sum. Villa was so keen to leave that he even offered to negotiate part of the deal himself.

Ultimately Barca decided that they needed the 31 year old for their domestic and European campaigns and he stayed.

Villa has had a disappointing end to his season with poor personal form as well as Barca’s undignified Champions League exit. He is still likely to leave Barca at the end of the season, but whether Arsene Wenger re-ignites his interest in the player is another matter.

A couple of sources have reiterated that Arsene Wenger has his sights on a new right back in case Bacary Sagna decides to leave the club in the summer. The Mail reports that the club are after Borussia Dortmund defender Lukasz Piszczek as a potential replacement for Sagna after the Frenchman refused to sign a one year contract extension.

The 27 year old Pole has been in excellent form this season, but doubts remain over whether Dortmund will let yet another star player leave.

Finally one player who seemingly isn’t Emirates-bound is Schalke’s Julian Draxler. Yesterday the 19 year old signed a deal with the German club that will take him through until 2018.



Football

Is the David Villa to Arsenal story dead if Barca offer him a new contract?

By Stefano on March 18th, 2013

The Daily Mail this morning is running with a story that Barcelona are about to offer Arsenal target David Villa a new contract. The 31 year old was hankering for a move in the transfer window as injuries had pushed him down the Catalan club’s pecking order.

However after some excellent recent performances the club have decided that they want the striker to stay at the Nou Camp and the Mail says that a contract extension – his contract expires in 14 months is on the cards.

So should Arsenal fans be concerned? I don’t think so.

Villa would have been a superb addition to the squad on loan during the winter window and I think his goals would have guaranteed a CL placing for the Gunners. However the team needs some new younger striking blood, and as he is likely to be priced out of Napoli’s Edinson Cavani Arsene Wenger has identified Fiorentina’s 23 year old Stevan Jevetic as a more suitable long term replacement for Robin Van Persie.

I think the door on the Villa transfer for Arsen Wenger shut over a month ago. Besides if Arsenal fail to quality for the Champions League I can’t imagine that Villa would sign anyhow.

Of course the story may have more twists and turns, especially if Vila is dropped again.

But I don’t think Wenger cares too greatly now anyhow.



Football

Too late for Arsenal? David Villa told he can leave Barcelona by club’s VP

By Stefano on February 26th, 2013

Here is yet another thing guaranteed to set Arsene Wenger’s teeth on edge this morning. After spending days chasing the player in the transfer window only to be told that the club wouldn’t let him go, it now transpires that Barcelona are willing to let David Villa leave.

Talk Sports is reporting that he will not be kept at Barcelona against his wishes, according to the club’s vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu.’

As you may remember Wenger was desperate to sign Villa in the window and it is pretty clear that Arsenal’s lack of firepower (and the not too clinical finishing from Gervinho and Giroud) might be the thing that prevents them from securing a Champions League qualification place.

Talk Sports says that

In an interview with BTV, Bartomeu said: “The coaches hope he is here next season but we will not retain any player that is uncomfortable. In that case, we will talk to him to seek a solution.”

So are Arsenal likely to renew their interest in Vila in the summer? I wouldn’t have thought so. He would have been a perfect fit at a time when the club had a very real (and still unaddressed) problem. Come the summer and Wenger will have a lot of other options to look at (Jovetić, Cavani, Benteke) and a player who is pushing 32 and has been wracked by injuries probably isn’t going to top his list.

He might want Champions League football too – and that may or may not be an issue for Arsenal.



Football

Rumours of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona? The Arsenal captain’s curse again!?

By Stefano on February 18th, 2013

Here’s an interesting question for Arsenal fans. Would you cash in Thomas Vermaelen for a Barca player or two?

Well that’s the rumour that has been picked up the Daily Mirror which suggests that the Catalans are lining up the Arsenal defender as a replacement for Eric Abidal who is unlikely to return to to-level footballer after his illnesses.

In return The Mirror suggest that Arsenal will be offered several Barca players including David Villa.

The paper says

Wenger has gone cold on the idea of signing Barcelona striker David Villa. However, the Spanish giants will try to reignite his interest if it will help get a deal for Vermaelen done.

Barcelona have already put around £40million aside for new signings in the summer and that pot will grow if they can offload Villa, versatile defender and midfielder Adriano and young forward Cristian Tello.

Vermaelen, 27, is under contract at Arsenal until October 2015.

So Arsenal fans what do you think? Might this be a sensible move for Arsene Wenger? It is clear that Thomas Vermaelen isn’t the commanding figure he was a couple of seasons back. There are even those who think that the Arsenal captain isn’t part of the best defensive pairing which they believe to be Mertesacker and Koscielny.

Then again it would be tough to replace a player with his skill and experience.

It is interesting too that this could end up being another example of the curse of being captain, for several players that Wenger has given that role to has left the club not too long after.



Football

Arsenal update: Wenger’s press conference has injury news (Gibbs/Wilshere), update on Villa and more

By Stefano on February 15th, 2013

Arsene Wenger had a pretty busy time of it this morning at the Arsenal press conference fielding questions about upcoming games against Blackburn and Bayern as well as the future of Santos, Villa and more.

Firstly on the injuries, Wenger revealed there was a possibility that Kieran Gibbs could be back in time for the game against Bayern

‘Kieran has a small chance to be fit for the second match against Bayern’

But he also cast doubt on the fitness of Jack Wilshere

‘I will not take a risk [with his fitness], with the rest of the season in mind and what happened before’

As for the game against Blackburn Wenger confirmed

‘The players who will not start are the players who have played many games recently. We are favourites, Blackburn have nothing to lose and they have a squad of Premier League players’

As for Villa, Wenger said

‘I am not on the case. I like the player but at the moment we have some immediate targets’

The door is however still open for Andre Santos

‘Of course he can have a future at Arsenal. That depends as well on the ins and outs during the summer. ‘He moved because he lost a little bit of confidence and he needs to play’

So what do you make of that lot then?

Well it seems that Arsene is focusing much more on the game against Bayern than Blackburn and that Saturday could see some fringe players – Miquel, Rosicky, maybe even Arshavin – get a game.

As for Bayern, the news that Gibbs might be fit is hugely encouraging for Gunners fans. Wenger would have to play Thomas Vermaelen in the left back berth and he is also struggling to get fit.

Personally I think that the comment on Santos makes sense. He has been a good player before, but clearly has struggled this season. He wouldn’t be the first Arsenal player ever to have a drop off in from.

As for Villa, that door it still open, but if I were a betting man the money would be on a younger striker arriving in the summer

 



Football

Arsenal update: Barcelona want €20m for David Villa. Is he too expensive now?

By Stefano on February 14th, 2013

Is this the end of the David Vila to Arsenal story? It certainly feels as if it might be that way.

Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo, which has been reported in the UK here, has stated that Barca have put a €20m price tag of their star striker – way more than the £10m (€11.5m) that Arsenal were reported to have bid in the transfer window.

So if Arsenal want to land the striker they will have to smash their transfer record to secure a player who will be 32 in December.

There’s still plenty of the season left and Villa may yet platy an important tole for the Catalan club’s bid for La Liga and The Champions League, but if that is not the case the striker, who has struggled with injuries, is very likely to push for a transfer.

The player was apparently very keen to move to London, but the chances of him becoming a Gunner now see remote. It could be a last desperate attempt by Barca to get as much money for the player as possible, so it will be fascinating to see how clubs respond.

Wenger has recently reiterated that he is looking at many strikers across Europe and that Stevan Jovetic, who is also interesting Man City is likely to be his number on target.



Football

Will Arsenal lose out on David Villa if they don’t quality for the Champions League?

By Stefano on February 5th, 2013

As Arsenal fans don’t need reminding they are currently in sixth in the Premiership and are four points behind Spurs in fourth. Yet many supporters share Arsene Wenger’s confidence that the club will once again qualify for the Champions League.

Many pundits are backing the Gunners too with Mark Lawrenson also confident that Arsenal will see off their rivals.

The penalty for not qualifying would be primarily financial – Arsenal could lose out on £20 million plus of revenue – however it will also affect the club’s ambition to attract big name players, and this in spite of the new tranche of sponsorship money they have secured.

The club are mulling over a bid for Barcelona’s David Villa in the summer. But will he come if there’s no guarantee of Champions League Football? As Spanish paper AS (picked up by Sports Witness here) points out today he could join Atletico Madrid (as a replacement for Falcao who is expected to leave the club in the summer) be guaranteed Champions League football and keep his young family in Spain.

AS journalist Juan Casanez confirms that there was contact between Arsenal and David Villa this winter but says that now that deal didn’t happen there are more options on the table. Atletico Madrid will likely be looking for a Falcao replacement and Villa will be a much cheaper option to Luis Suarez, or even Edin Dzeko. The newspaper says that Atletico sporting director Jose Luis Caminero was in contact with Villa’s agents during the transfer window, with a view to the summer.

Not only are Atletico more likely to qualify for the Champions League, they are also able to offer Villa the chance to stay in Spain with his young family. His wife recently gave birth to the couple’s first son and they have two young daughters, the attraction of remaining in the country is something that AS think will be another advantage.

Arsenal might also find themselves chasing players who are also fancied by Spurs and if Tottenham have the CL slot then they will clearly have an edge over their North London rivals. For example would world class centre backs like Mats Hummels and Fernando Amorebieta join the club? Probably not.

It is worth pointing out that both Liverpool and Spurs have signed world class players without a CL qualification (Suarez being the classic example) but when it comes to top stars, or players in the twilight of their career like David Villa, CL qualification is a given.

 



Football

So who else did Arsenal try to sign on the last day of the window? Villa? Traore? Capoue?

By Stefano on February 3rd, 2013

As well as the signing of Nacho Monreal Arsene Wenger admitted that Arsenal got pretty close to grabbing another player on the last day of the window. However that player’s club refused to let the player go and the deal fell through.

So who was that player? It was assumed initially to be either Barcelona’s David Villa or West Ham’s Mohamed Diame, but now it appears that it might not have been either of them.

The Villa deal was quite possibly dead several days before the end of the window and although Wenger was making all the right noises about Diame it seems like he changed his mind about the player and didn’t actually make a bid for him.

One other theory that has been advanced is that Arsenal were close to signing Lorient forward Alain Traore but pulled out because the player sustained a thigh injury.

Several sources now claim that player that Wenger got close to signing was in fact Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue

TalkSport said yesterday.

The France international had been linked with a switch to England throughout January, with Everton and Fulham joining Arsenal in the pursuit.

And while Wenger landed Nacho Monreal from Malaga, he was also busy trying to sign Capoue but was thwarted as the Ligue 1 club refused to talk.

The 24-year-old’s agent Mino Raiola told L’Equipe: “The Toulouse president didn’t need to sell during this window. The asking price was a barrier every time.”

Well it certainly sounds plausible. Arsenal have been linked to Capoue for a long time. He is also exactly the type of combative midfielder the club needs to add some steel in front of the defence. Moving for Capoue would also explain why Wenger suddenly cooled on Diame.

In fact he must have been very keen on Capoue as he would have probably cost twice the amount that Arsenal would have paid West ham for Diame.

Ultimately though the failure to sign anyone – part from the excellent emergency left back – is a poor reflection on the Gunners’ management team. To have 31 days to sort out reinforcements only for the deal for your favoured player to be scuppered on the last day because the player’s club don’t actually want to sell, sounds very poor planning




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