Barcelona rule out Arsenal striker target sale

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Barcelona director of football Andoni Zubizarreta has ruled out letting David Villa leave the Nou Camp in January.

Villa has been regualrly left on the bench this season and has been linked with a move away from the Catalan club, either in January or at the end of the season.

According to reports in Spain, Barcelona were willing to let Villa go for around €15 million during the winter window, with north London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal said to be interested.

Both Spurs and Arsenal appear short of attacking options and could move to bring in reinforcements in January, with Villa a potential target should he indicate that he is willing to leave.

The Gunners in particular are said to be keen on landing a striker in January, and could make a move for Villa after it was announced that reported target Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had signed a contract extension with Schalke.

However Zubizarreta has poured cold water on claims that Villa, who only returned from a prolonged spell on the sidelines with a broken leg recently, could be let go in the winter window.

“In January we will keep Villa and it is important to remember that Barcelona is a club that habitually does not accept offers for star players in January," Zubizarreta told Canal Plus.

"David is a player that brings goals and intensity to the team. Now he has recovered from a serious injury I believe that he is offering a good level on the field.

"It is normal that big players desire to play and this is perfect for the competition in the squad."

Villa was once more on the bench last night as Barcelona ended 2012 on a high with a 3-1 victory over Valladolid to establish a 9 point lead at the top of La Liga.

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