The Gunners are believed to be interested in reinforcing their squad this summer in a bid to force themselves into the race for next season’s Premier League title.

Manager Arsene Wenger was reportedly close to agreeing a deal for Villa last month, but was unable to draft in the Spanish international before the deadline passed.

Although Barca have claimed that he is not for sale, they may accept a summer bid for his services to free up funds to aid their own transfer plans.

Wenger is keen to bring in a guaranteed source of goals after watching new signing Olivier Giroud struggle to transfer his form with Ligue 1 side Montpellier to the Emirates Stadium.

As well as bringing in Villa, he will look to take advantage of Valdes’ current situation.

The stopper has announced that he will not sign a new contract at the Nou Camp, prompting speculation that he will leave later this year.

The Gunners are keen to secure an experienced and reliable goalkeeper with current number one Wojciech Szczesny having made a series of errors in recent seasons.

The duo would cost around £22m, fees that the Londoners should be able to match.