Atletico Madrid summer recruit David Villa has revealed how his former club Barcelona blocked his joining in-form English team Arsenal.
During the winter transfer window, The Gunners reportedly made a £12million bid for Villa, which the player himself was open to, but the transfer deal failed to materialise.
And in the summer transfer window, the 32-year-old striker was made to join Atletico in a surprise deal worth only €2.1million up front.
Now, the La Roja’s all-time record goalscorer told Canal Plus show Espacio Reservado how he was very interested in taking the Arsenal chance, but Barca would not let him go at the time.
“I was not playing so I let the club know that the best would be to leave,” Villa told reporters.
“There was an important offer from an English club. You all know that it was Arsenal. The offer was very good for the club, very good for me. But they did not think it was right for me to leave at that moment, they needed me.”
“You must not regret the decisions which you take,” he said.
“In this case Barca always showed me a lot of affection, and promised me they would help me leave in the summer. And they did that, so I can only be happy with that.”
However, the Spain international, who admitted it took him a while to learn what was expected of him within Diego Simeone’s organised Colchoneros side, insists he is now happy at the Spanish capital.
“I am very happy, above all because the goals and performances have helped the team achieve its objectives,” Villa said.
“In the end I think more about the collective than the individual. This team was already made -- coming from some years playing really well, battling together and winning important things. As time passed, bit by bit, I have felt better inside the system.”
Atletico are now joint top of the La Liga table with Barca, and they sailed through their Champions League group as winners.
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