Barcelona striker David Villa would have joined Liverpool were it not for the broken leg he sustained playing for the Catalan giants in last year's Club World Cup.

Villa made his first appearance for Barca in over eight months when he returned to action against Real Sociedad in August, but could have been plying his trade in the Premier League had things gone differently.

According to El Confidencial, Liverpool had lined-up a January deal for the Spain international following a summer of spending that brought little reward for manager Kenny Dalglish.

Villa had become frustrated at the Nou Camp after his position as Barcelona's central striker came under threat, and is reported to have been keen to move to Anfield for a new challenge.

It is claimed the 30-year-old's close friendship with Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina encouraged the former to pursue a move to Merseyside, but a broken tibia in Japan scuppered a deal.

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