David Villa pleads for Barcelona exit

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Arsenal and Manchester City target David Villa has pleaded with Barcelona to grant him a move away from the Camp Nou in the January transfer window, according to Spanish newspaper Sport.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was heavily linked with a move for the Spain striker earlier in the month, while Roberto Mancini has also been linked with an interest in taking him to the Etihad Stadium.

It was assumed any chance of signing Villa had ended when Barcelona president Sandro Rossell denied the 31-year-old would be leaving the Catalan club and manager Tito Vilanova echoed those claims.

The report in Sport now claims Villa has actually asked to leave Barcelona and held a meeting with Vilanova to make his wishes clear.

It claims Spain’s all-time leading goalscorer is tired of only being a bit-part player under Vilanova and is keen to take advantage of the interest in him from Premier League sides Arsenal and Manchester City in the window.

The Emirates Stadium outfit are struggling for consistency in the league and have been criticised for a lack of cutting edge going forward, something the signing of proven scorer Villa should go a long way to alleviate.

Meanwhile, City are not as fluent going forward as last season and Mancini will be keen to continue to add quality as they attempt to overhaul a five-point deficit between themselves and rivals Manchester United at the top of the table.

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