Remember a week ago when it seemed Arsenal were at the mercy of Real Madrid when it involved Gonzalo Higuain? Replace Arsenal with Tottenham, Real Madrid with Barcelona and Higuain with David Villa and the story repeats itself.
With Spurs—alongside Liverpool and Arsenal in the report—not willing to meet the Catalan club's evaluation of the player, Barcelona will now use the forward to help ease the burden of losing Rooney.
Much of this assumes that Rooney will eventually decide to leave United for new pastures. While there still seems to be doubt in the air as to whether he will leave, according to Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail, Villa’s availability may now be held up until the forward makes his decision.
This mirrors the situation presented last week when Higuain was being held away from Arsenal to potentially be used as bait to lure Gareth Bale away from White Hart Lane.
Considering the move to the Gunners is finally picking up steam, according to John Drayton of the Daily Mail, one has to think Madrid was very serious about using the Argentine as a makeweight. For Spurs, it certainly will be a sigh of relief to see Arsenal’s move go through, signalling a waning of desire to get a deal done for the Welshman this summer.
At the same time, though, it leaves Tottenham in a precarious position as they have still not landed a forward on the market. It may now take even longer as the man Andre Villas-Boas seems to have his eye on is stuck in limbo.
It would probably not trouble Villa too much to make the move to United. After all, there’s still Champions League football to be played. What's more, given Robin van Persie’s injury record in years past, playing time is only a rolled ankle away.
Plus, there’s every bit of a chance that Villa would not have to take a pay cut to make the move as his wage is dwarfed by Rooney’s £250,000-a-week pay packet.
In the meantime, the idea that Villa could be off the market should shock Spurs into action soon. With Emmanuel Adebayor attracting attention from Besiktas, according to Darren Lewis of The Mirror, Tottenham could start the preseason with one recognized forward in Jermain Defoe. Even then, Defoe is not guaranteed to be in a Lilywhite kit by the time the new campaign starts.
The Paulinho deal, for all intents and purposes, is done. Only the club’s kit release next Monday, for which Paulinho will probably be the showman, is keeping the club from announcing that the deal is finalized.
But one piece of business does not a summer make. Daniel Levy, Franco Baldini and company need to get on their horses and get the rest of the summer activity done soon.