The Catalan giants are reluctant to sell the Spanish international despite his apparent desire to leave and join the Gunners this month after being frozen out at the Nou Camp.
Arsene Wenger is eager to bring the 31-year-old to the Emirates Stadium but isn’t prepared to meet Barca’s £15 million asking price and will hold his ground in the hope of landing him for a reduced fee.
It’s believed Wenger is plotting to test the Spanish club’s resolve with a £10m bid during the final 48 hours of the window and are relying on Villa himself to force through the transfer.
Despite his age, the Frenchman is convinced the striker, who has netted 53 times in 85 games for his country, can score the goals that will propel his side to Champions League qualification.
Arsenal are currently two places and seven points shy of North London rivals Tottenham and in danger of missing out on a place in the Premier League top four.
Villa has fallen down the pecking order under Tito Vilanova following eight months out with a broken tibia and has been restricted mainly to cameos from the bench this season.