But now, we've learned that Mr. Villa won't be going anywhere. From The Guardian:
Barcelona's president Sandro Rosell has warned Arsenal that they can forget about signing David Villa, who played 24 minutes as a substitute in the 4-0 win over Espanyol last Saturday, during the January transfer window.
The Gunners are expected to strengthen their options up front, having offloaded the misfit Marouane Chamakh on a six-month loan deal to West Ham.
Rosell, however, maintains that the 31-year-old Villa, signed in a £31m deal from Valencia in 2010, is going nowhere. "I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the winter market," he said to the Catalan radio station RAC1. "He is ours and we need him, there is a lot of the season left."
One of the reasons Villa seemed to make sense for Arsenal is that he's seen his playing time diminish significantly during the 2012-13 season. He's started just 10 games for Barca in all competitions, while he's been used as a substitute 11 times.
And there's not question that the Gunners could use an upgrade or two among the forward ranks. Villa's versatility—he could have played either striker or on the wing for Arsenal—surely was one of his most attractive features.
Clearly, that is now out of the question.
One wonders where Villa falls on this. Last year was the first season since 2004-05 that Villa didn't score 20 goals in club play, and that was only the result of a broken leg that shortened his season.
So is the man who has so consistently put the ball in the back of the net okay with his diminished role? Or might he have welcomed a move to Arsenal, where he surely would have received more playing time?
After Rosell's revelation, it's a moot point. Still, the value of Villa will only drop from here. Barcelona might have missed an opportunity to cash in on the forward now.
After all, with an 11-point lead in La Liga play, it seems a mere formality at this point that the league will belong to Barca once again. Then again, when you're already up 11 points in league play by January, perhaps the rest of us shouldn't question your personnel decisions.