Former Barcelona star David Villa has revealed that he was certain that he would be leaving Barcelona for Arsenal in the winter of 2013. The North Londoners were looking for a brand new striker but ended the window without signing anyone, with the club relying on Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.
The Gunners were linked with a myriad of options in the 2013 winter window with David Villa amongst their top options. However, while the club and Villa came to an agreement over personal terms, there was no deal between Barcelona and Arsenal which saw the move fall apart. It also saw Villa opt to stay at Camp Nou before leaving six months later for Atletico Madrid.
But the Spaniard went on to admit in an interview that there was a lot of meetings and calls between his agent and the Gunners, with him sure he would leave for Arsenal. However, Villa revealed that the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement and it saw Atletico Madrid swoop in and make the move less than three days later, a move that earned him his third La Liga title.
"We were in a lot of meetings and a lot of calls. I felt 90% in that moment that I [would] go to Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. But in that moment we didn't arrive to the deal, Atletico Madrid arrived and in three or four days fixed everything. I don't know what would have happened if I'd signed for Arsenal. I'm very happy that I signed for Atletico Madrid, not just for winning the league but for everything. I'm very happy to have made that choice," Villa told Guillem Balague for BBC Sport.
The Spaniard had an incredibly successful playing career which saw him win three La Liga titles and a Champions League trophy with Barcelona. Not only that, the now 38-year-old was a crucial part of the Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup wins for Spain and also happens to be his country’s record goalscorer. But Villa admitted that he would have loved to play in England and never got the chance to do so despite being approached by many clubs over the years.
"I love the Premier League. In my career I always watched a lot of games in the Premier League. I always thought about going there one time, but in the moment that all these offers arrived to me or to my agent, I made another decision. Why? I don't know. Many times I had the opportunity to go there, but I chose another way," he added.
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