Given the club's current search for added firepower, Arsenal fans will be pained to hear that their side did in fact make a move for David Villa in January but were turned down by Barcelona, according to Keeghan Sinanan of Goal.com.
The Spaniard would later go on to join Atletico Madrid, where he has started brightly and is currently joint-fourth top scorer in the division.
To rub salt in the wound, Villa adds that he was happy with a move to North London, per comments to Canal+ (h/t Sinanan):
Arsenal’s offer was very good for the club and great for me, but they (Barcelona) did not deem it feasible for me to leave at that time. I was told that I was needed.
I’m happy (that I joined Atletico) because my goals and performance on the field have helped the team to achieve their goals. After all, as you know, I think more collective than individual.
The club has always shown me great affection and fulfilled their promise to sell me in the summer. I have only words of gratitude for Barca.
Spanish journalist Guillem Balague revealed back in August, per Express' Charles Perrin, Atletico paid only €2.5 million for the striker, which will rise to €4.6 million should he stay at the Vicente Calderon for three years, 12 months longer than his current deal in Madrid.
David Villa has agreed to join At. Madrid. Six months ago Arsenal tried hard to get him. Not now— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) July 8, 2013
The Gunners are now seeking forward reinforcements in a bid to keep Olivier Giroud fit, the Frenchman having started 22 of his side's 23 games in both the Premier League and Champions League this season.
In November, Matt Barlow and John Edwards of the Daily Mail elaborated on Arsene Wenger's plans to sign Karim Benzema from Real Madrid and Fernando Llorente of Juventus in January.
Since moving to Spain's capital, Villa has bagged eight goals and four assists in just 14 La Liga starts, per Transfermarkt.co.uk, continuing to show his worth in front of goal despite turning 32 years of age.
At the time of his transfer, the Guardian's Marcus Christenson commented on just what a miss Villa was for the Gunners:
Giroud has been in fine form, helping Arsenal to the peak of the English top flight with his seven Premier League goals and four assists, per Transfermarkt.co.uk, but could understandably fatigue as the campaign lingers on.
It's unknown as to how far Wenger went in reviving a move for the cut-price Villa over the summer period, but with more than £42 million being splashed on Mesut Ozil, it's difficult to imagine the North Londoners couldn't have grabbed themselves a bargain of opposite proportions had they not been beaten to the mark by Diego Simeone's side.