It looks like Valencia are once again going to defy all belief about their debt by not selling key players in January and instead holding out for the summer. Whilst there was massive speculation over the futures of David Silva, Juan Mata and David Villa – just as there was last summer – those involved with the club are all claiming that the wanted trio will stay at the Mestalla which may come as a shock to many. When the time does come to sell though they will not be short of suitors for the Spanish internationals and there’s never been any question that Silva and Mata would be quickly snapped up by another club. Villa’s future raised more questions though as he always claimed he would not move abroad thus limiting the amount of clubs who could sign him to Real Madrid and Barcelona both of whom were unable to agree a deal with Valencia and thus moved onto other targets.
It seems that Villa’s stance has changed though and, in a recent interview with The Times, he revealed that he’s now willing to go abroad, citing his refusal to move in the summer as that
“Quite simply, I rejected the possibility of moving abroad at that moment because there were issues that would not allow me to leave my country…my wife was pregnant and it didn’t seem right to leave. I like the Premier League a lot. It’s the league I follow the most along with La Liga and I’ve got a lot of friends playing there.”
Naturally Villa’s admission that he could move abroad will alert the tabloids who will spurn out story after story about where the striker is headed but the question is, where could he go? Whilst a striker of Villa’s quality would always find a place in a squad, the big boys of English football have all got reasons not to sign him now; Liverpool can’t afford him, Chelsea may be unable to get him due to their transfer embargo, Arsenal were never interested anyway and Manchester United signed Michael Owen instead and, given Alex Ferguson’s recent transfer policy, would be reluctant to pay a huge fee to land the 29-year-old.
Manchester City are bound to be interested though, as they are whenever a big player is said to be available, but whether Villa would go to City is a good question as the club are yet to prove that they can compete for top honours which is something Villa would desire should he leave. Roberto Mancini’s impact on the club is yet to be seen and City will have to really up their domestic form if they want any chance of appealing to Villa by the time the summer arrives.
This setback in getting a Premiership move could lead Villa to be forced to be sold to one of Barca or Real, neither of whom need him but both of whom would probably move for him anyway simply due to him being a Spanish international. Villa would not fit into Barca’s system however and is reportedly not too fond of Real, always having been said to prefer a move to Barca instead.
Villa is one of the best strikers in the world but suddenly his signing is looking slightly less appealing than it did before – £45 million for a man who could probably only handle three more years at top form? Whilst he could be the difference for those few years it seems a huge price to pay for a limited amount of time like that where the fee will not be recouped due to his age at the end of the period. And even if someone did take a chance where would he go? If Chelsea don’t get placed under the transfer embargo then they’re a possibility. If United actually consider spending money then they could be too. But all things considered, Villa may have to seriously weigh up whether he’s willing to join the plethora of strikers at Man City or not as that could be his only option of joining the Premiership.