Barcelona director: Arsenal striker target difficult to replace

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Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has played down the prospect of selling Arsenal target David Villa in the summer, reports talkSPORT.

The 31-year-old striker has been heavily linked with a move away from Camp Nou in recent months, with rumours the Spaniard was on his way to the Premier League in January.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was credited with an interest in bringing Villa to the Emirates Stadium in the mid-season window, and is reportedly still keen to lure him to north London in the summer.

However, Arsenal's hopes of securing the Barca star's signature have been dealt a significant blow, after Zubizarreta said that Villa would be very difficult to replace, if sold at the end of the season.

"We do not usually comment on anything," he told Radio RAC1. "We spoke and talked with him (Villa) and his representative. There is nothing concrete.

"The market is not what it was years ago; we cannot find solutions as we did before. Villa has goals, a feel for the game, end product and aspirations."

Villa has struggled to hold down a regular place in the Barcelona first-team this season, ever since recovering from the broken leg that ruled him out for much of 2011/12.

The former Valencia striker proved he still has plenty to offer the Primera Division giants, though, when he scored Barca's crucial third goal in Tuesday's Champions League last-16 second leg victory against AC Milan, helping to secure the Catalan club's progression to the quarter-finals with a 3-2 aggregate win.

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