World Football Gossip Roundup: David Villa, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Julian Draxler
David Villa, Barcelona's 31-year-old Spain international striker, wants to play at another World Cup. Problem is, before the event arrives next summer, he needs to regain a regular first-team place.
The way the gossip pages tell it, that could mean Villa is set for a move away from Barcelona. But for Villa, a big opportunity might have already come and gone.
That story leads this Monday edition of the B/R World Football Gossip Roundup. Inside, we also have updates on Geoffrey Kondogbia, Julian Draxler, Arjen Robben and more.
Keep reading for all the details.
Spain international striker David Villa will try to force a move away from Barcelona in order to secure his spot at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, according to the Daily Mirror.
Villa, 31, returned from a long-term injury this season and has started only 13 league matches for first-year manager Tito Vilanova. In 23 total league appearances, he has scored eight goals.
Arsenal were reportedly interested in January, but Barcelona declined to sell. According to the report, Villa wants assurances he will play more next season, or else he will try to leave the club.
Sevilla midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia says playing for Real Madrid "has been a dream" of his since he was a child (via Marca).
Kondogbia, 20, has been capped at several youth levels for France. A defensive midfielder, he has played 26 La Liga matches (18 as a starter) this season for Sevilla. His performances have reportedly drawn attention from several clubs.
"A preference? Real Madrid has been a dream of mine since I was a kid," Kondogbia told Telefoot.
He added: "It's always a pleasure to be scouted and wanted by clubs. Real Madrid? It makes me dream, but it's just a rumor right now. I could play the Champions League with these teams."
Meanwhile, The Sun reports that Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City are also interested in Kondogbia, who is reportedly rated at £17 million.
“I don’t really want to talk about Kondogbia too much because everyone’s after him at the moment," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. “When you ask ‘Are you also interested?’ what do you expect me to say?”
Schalke 04 midfielder Julian Draxler has denied reports that he will join Borussia Dortmund, according to German publication Kicker (via International Business Times).
Draxler, 19, has been capped four times by Germany. He has been tipped for a move to rivals Borussia Dortmund as a potential replacement for Mario Gotze, who will join Bayern Munich this summer.
"Some of the rumours have been taken for face value, which has made me sad," said Draxler, who did not rule out a move away from Schalke. "I can promise to all that I will not play for Borussia Dortmund."
Draxler has made 28 Bundesliga appearances this season, scoring eight goals.
The original article (in German) can be found here.
Arjen Robben, Alexis Sanchez
Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta says he "admires" Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben and Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez (via Goal.com).
Robben (pictured), a 29-year-old Dutch winger, has made only 14 Bundesliga appearances this season, scoring four goals. Alexis, a 24-year-old Chilean attacking midfielder, has scored five goals in 25 La Liga appearances this term.
Robben is under contract with Bayern until 2015. Alexis is under contract with Barca until 2016.
"Robben and Alexis are two excellent players and I admire both of them. There is not much more I can say about it at this point, though," Marotta told Corriere dello Sport.
Liverpool could make a deal with Qatari telecommunications provider Ooredoo, and the deal could see Anfield renamed (via Daily Mail).
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he will not sell any more players to Manchester United after former captain Robin van Persie helped United win the title this season (via Daily Telegraph).
England defender Joleon Lescott admits he might have to leave Manchester City to secure a place at the World Cup (via Daily Mail).
Barcelona's Isaac Cuenca wants to stay on loan with Ajax another season (via Sky Sports).
Liverpool's Luis Suarez was booed at Sunday evening's PFA Awards gala (via ESPN.co.uk).