Football

Arsenal suffer blow in pursuit of Barcelona star

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Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their apparent pursuit of Barcelona striker David Villa, with the news that the Spanish striker will be offered the opportunity to further extend his stay at the Camp Nou.

Villa was linked with a January transfer to Arsenal and has since been touted as a potential target for the summer but, according to the Daily Mail, Barcelona have approached the 31-year-old with a new contract offer.

The future of Villa as a Barcelona player has been the subject of contest speculation this season, with the Spaniard struggling to recapture the form he had shown prior to the broken leg suffered in 2011.

Arsenal were reported to be interested in acquiring the services of Villa with his time at Barcelona in apparent doubt, but the Gunners may now have to look elsewhere in their quest for goalscoring reinforcements.

Arsene Wenger has failed to find a consistent formula up front this season following the departure of Robin van Persie last summer, and the Arsenal manager is likely to have his eye on a proven goalscorer when the transfer window opens again.

Arsenal did move to sign both Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud after Van Persie left the Emirates Stadium, but neither has been a like-for-like replacement for the former Gunners captain, while the former has been linked with a move away from the club.

Podolksi is a reported target for Juventus, with Arsenal considering allowing the German to leave the club only 12 months after his transfer from Cologne.

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