Reports have emerged over the last 24 hours which suggest that Arsenal have made a formal offer for Barcelona forward David Villa. Arsenal will apparently pay up to £13.8m (around €17m) to secure the signature of the Spaniard and are willing to match his £110,000 a week wages. This move could well be accelerated by Villa being willing to plead with the Barcelona hierarchy to let him leave.
I looked at this transfer a few days ago in the transfer window preview and contrary to reports this morning – I can’t see that much has changed especially considering that other reports have suggested that Villa has agreed to stay put until the summer. Another issue is the price. Would Barcelona accept a maximum offer of £13.8m when a few days ago they were being quoted as saying that it would cost at least £16m for them to consider doing business in January? Even Villa’s agent has suggested that a January deal is unlikely whilst Barcelona have said before – they don’t accept offers for their star players in January. I’d also question how the initial source discovered / invented that we have made a formal offer.
And wages? I can’t see Arsenal matching Villa’s current wages. I could see him being put into the top bracket with Jack, Podolski and (hopefully) Theo but I don’t think that we would break our wage structure for him. I also wouldn’t read much into the reports that say we will finance the move through our mini clear out – Chamakh has left on loan (whilst who is paying his wages has not been revealed) whilst Djourou is also likely to leave on loan (and if we don’t end up paying part of his wages I will be surprised). The most likely scenario (should this transfer happen) is that part of the fee is offset against what we are still owed from Barcelona from previous transfers.
Obviously I would love to see this transfer happen – but it is much further away from being completed than parts of the media would have you believe. There are a number of massive hurdles to cross. It’s not impossible (I’m not dissolving all hope) but I wouldn’t expect anything major to happen with this until the end of the window (prepare for Deadline Day on Sky sports news and some frantic News Now action. We have the financial clout to make it happen – it’s more a question of whether Arsenal (and by that I mean Wenger) want to.
Follow me on the twitter: @andifoster
Get your free LadyArse app here for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows phone