This is one that is surely going to hurt a little for Arsenal fans but AS in Spain are reporting that Atletico Madrid are eyeing up David Villa and will have a better chance of getting him than Arsenal partly because they are more competitive and almost nailed on for Champions League football next season.
Atletico Madrid are in second place in La Liga, seven points ahead of Jose Mourinho's men on the other side of town. They are almost certain to be in the Champions League next season because they're fifteen points ahead of fifth placed Real Betis. In comparison, Arsenal are sixth in the Premier League, four points behind neighbours Tottenham, Champions League football is looking more difficult to achieve.
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.
Whilst Arsenal fans will expect to be in Real Madrid's shadow when it comes to attracting players, that they could now be in Atletico's too would be something of a frustration. Players having to turn their nose up at the club because of no Champions League place would be a huge step backwards and cruelly stop them from moving forward.
It's a huge deal and would see them have to change their list of targets to suit, Arsenal face slipping down in terms of attractiveness to potential new signings and it looks like David Villa could be the first one with these considerations changing his mind.
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