Arsenal's chances of signing David Villa have received a boost after Barcelona revealed they will allow the striker to leave this summer if he remains unhappy at the Nou Camp.
Villa has struggled for game time with the Catalan giants this season, and is believed to be looking for a route out of the club when the transfer window opens on 1 July.
The former Valencia striker was reportedly close to joining Arsenal in January but Arsene Wenger eventually quelled the rumours, saying Barcelona weren't interested in selling their star forward.
But while the current La Liga leaders have previously insisted they want to keep Villa, vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu now says that if he's unhappy in the summer, the player nicknamed El Guaje will be allowed to leave.
"The coaches hope he is here next season but we will not retain any player that is uncomfortable," he said in an interview with BTV.
After Arsenal released healthy financial figures for the second half of 2012, reports suggest Arsene Wenger will have a significant budget to reinforce his squad this summer. Some sources claim Wenger will be given up to £70 million in the next transfer window.
Although the Arsenal manager generally prefers to sign younger players with re-sale value, 31-year-old Villa has been a vital part of Barcelona and Spain's successes over the past five years, and is renowned as one of the world's most lethal strikers.
For Arsenal, 2012-13 has been another disappointing season. The side are currently fifth in the table, and their match with Tottenham this weekend could be crucial as they look to close the four-point gap with their bitter rivals and reclaim a Champions League spot.