Arsenal are considering a move for Barcelona striker David Villa in January. The Daily Mail reports Arsene Wenger would prefer a loan move in the winter, with an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the season. However, should the two clubs reach an understanding, the Gunners' boss is likely to be open to an idea of a long-term deal, with effect from next month.
The former Valencia star joined the Catalans in 2010, for a reported £34.2m fee. However, since then the Spanish national team's all-time top scorer (51 goals) has struggled for game time. His cause was not helped by the broken leg in the FIFA Club World Cup last December or the continuing brilliance of Argentine international Lionel Messi; Villa has been forced to cede his favoured central striking position to his team-mate.
The 31-year-old has made only six starts in La Liga this term (19 appearances in all competitions) but his return of eight goals and one assist suggests he remains as prolific as ever; Arsenal could do with someone like him up front.
Villa has admitted to being frustrated at his lack of first-team action and although he has remained accommodating until now, Vicente del Bosque's recent comments may change the situation. The national team coach warned his striker to find regular playing time with a top club.
The Barcelona ace has already been linked with more than one Premier League club, with English champions Manchester City believed to be considering him as a replacement for Sergio Agüero, if the former Atletico Madrid forward wants to leave the Etihad. Liverpool have also been credited with an interest in Villa.
The Gunners have French international Olivier Giroud and German Lukas Podolski on the books, both of whom were recruited in the summer. However, Podolski has been deployed primarily on the wings (and the former Bayern Munich star is not happy about that) while Giroud has largely failed to impress; the Frenchman has only four league goals in 17 appearances.
World Cup and Champions League-winning David Villa might be just the tonic the Gunners need to turn a desperately poor season around. And the chance to play regular football at a top European club is exactly what Villa is looking for.
The Emirates club, meanwhile, have also been linked by the Daily Mail with moves for Villa's compatriots - Adrian Lopez of Atletico Madrid and Fernando Llorente of Athletic Bilbao. In addition, The Sun believes Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is also an option and Newcastle's Senegalese striker, Demba Ba, has confessed to an interest in playing for Arsenal.