David Villa’s influence in the Barcelona team has been diminishing over the past two years due to age and injury.
Added to that the signing of Neymar seems to have decided his fate as he will be leaving the Nou Camp this summer.
But where will the Spain international forward go?
Villa may be struggling to keep his place in the current Barcelona team but he still has the quality to play at the highest level which means he will probably go to a team that is in the Champions League.
In my opinion he will either stay in the Spanish League or leave to join a Serie A or Premier League club.
Taking these factors into account there are 10 teams that he could possibly move to: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Real Sociedad, Juventus, Napoli, AC Milan, Man United, Man City, Chelsea or Arsenal. But which of these clubs is his most likely destination.
Out of the three Spanish teams Atletico Madrid seem the most likely. It is unlikely that he will move to Barcelona’s big rivals Real Madrid and Real Sociedad are probably not going to be a permanent fixture in the Champions League despite their impressive performance in last season’s La Liga.
Falcao’s move to Monaco leaves a vacancy up front for the red and whites that Villa could comfortably fit.
If Villa decides he wants to move to Italy his most likely destination would be Napoli.
Juventus have only recently signed Carlos Tevez making it unlikely they will move for another striker and AC Milan are already strong upfront with Mario Balotelli, Giampaolo Pazzini and Stephan El Shaarawy and rarely play with wingers which is a position Villa can also comfortably occupy. Napoli’s current star striker Edinson Cavani seems likely to leave which would leave room for Villa to take his place and joining up with compatriot Rafael Benitez may be an intriguing prospect for him.
Villa has often been linked with a move to England and it could well happen this summer with Arsenal being the most likely club to secure his signature.
Man United were strongly linked with him when he was leaving Valencia but it would be unlikely that they would revive their interest because of their wealth of attacking talent.
Man City stated that one of the reasons they sacked Roberto Mancini was because they wanted to adopt a more holistic approach.
Although this is an ambiguous statement it seems to suggest that they want to invest more in their youth system despite already spending big money on two players in their late 20s.
Disregarding this hypocrisy, they will probably not want to sign a player already in his thirties and Chelsea already have a host of attacking talent and that coupled with Fernando Torres seemingly finding something that resembles form means that Mourinho is unlikely to make a move for Villa.
Arsenal are always looking for players like Villa, a player who can pass the ball well and can play in any of the front three positions and with reports suggesting Wenger will be allowed to spend big this summer, Villa could be a very realistic prospect.
But which club out of Atletico Madrid, Napoli and Arsenal is the most likely destination for Villa?
Despite there being arguments for each team the deciding factor is age. Villa is 31. He will struggle to adapt to a new style of play which means his new club will have to match the style of Barcelona and Arsenal are the closest to the ‘tiki-taka’ football that they play.
So Gunners fans could be seeing Villa gracing the Emirates Stadium next season.
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