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Liverpool are considering an approach for Barcelona striker David Villa in the summer, according to Spanish newspaper AS. The 31 year old World Cup and European Championship winner's contract with the Nou Camp club ends in 2014. The report indicates a fee between £9.75m and £12m.
The Spanish international transferred to the Catalans from Valencia in 2010. He had a good first season with Lionel Messi and co, making 32 starts in La Liga and scoring 18 goals.
However, a combination of factors, including being played out of position (to accommodate Messi), injuries and poor form, have meant Villa has made only six league starts this term. And he is not happy with the present situation.
"The fact that I haven't been used to playing regularly means I am less patient. But I'm ready to play and I know my leg will respond to 90 minutes," the striker explained, referring to a broken leg in a FIFA Club World Cup game last year.
And tensions between Villa and Messi threatened to spill over onto the football pitch, when the two were reported arguing in a league match against Granada. Although the report was quickly dismissed by the Argentine international and the manager, Tito Vilanova, it could herald the end of the Asturian's time in Catalonia.
Villa has also been linked with a move to Premier League champions Manchester City, as a potential replacement for unsettled Argentine Sergio Agüero. And this opens up an interesting possibility. The two Argentineans are known to be good friends and Messi did comment, last summer, he would love to link up with his international team mate at the Nou Camp.
And with Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez also linked with a move away from Spain, the Nou Camp could maybe spring a surprise move for City's title-winning hero. Agüero will likely cost a pretty penny but the funds from the sale of Villa and Sanchez should cover that amount.
Meanwhile, the Metro reports Chelsea too are interested in signing David Villa.
Red Disappointed with Referee Decision
Finally, Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has revealed disappointment over a penalty decision in the weekend defeat to Aston Villa. The Anfield club were beaten 3-1 by the Villans, at home, after Belgian forward Christian Benteke fired a brace and set up Austrian Andreas Weimann for the third.
Liverpool had a penalty shout turned down, when Villa defender Ciaran Clark pulled Daniel Agger's shirt.
"There was that one with Daniel and the one where I've headed it and the guy has basically caught it. I don't know what we have to do. Joe Allen was penalised for the same thing last week," the England international complained.