Spain legend David Villa reveals he was ‘90% certain’ he would sign for Arsenal in 2013… only for deal to fall through before joining Atletico Madrid
Former Barcelona and Spain striker David Villa has revealed that he was on the verge of joining Arsenal in 2013 before the deal fell through at the last minute.
The 38-year-old, who hung up his boots last month after a 19-year career and 15 trophies, made his name in Spain before playing in the United States and Japan.
But it could have been very different had a proposed move to the Emirates gone ahead following talks with manager Arsene Wenger.
Spain legend David Villa has revealed that he was on the verge of joining Arsenal back in 2013
Villa ended up joining Atletico Madrid instead after they agreed a £4.3m deal with Barcelona
The former striker, who was playing for Barcelona at the time, told BBC Sport: ‘We were in a lot of meetings and a lot of calls.
‘I felt 90 per cent 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.’
After three trophy-laden seasons at Barca, Villa joined La Liga rivals Atletico for just £4.3million in the summer of 2013.
Villa, pictured lifting the Champions League trophy in 2011, spent three years with Barcelona
The former striker, pictured with his family last November, hung up his boots at the age of 38
He would go on to score 15 goals in 47 appearances in all competitions, helping Diego Simeone’s men upset the odds by beating his former club and Real Madrid to the title.
‘I don’t know what would have happened if I’d signed for Arsenal,’ Villa added.
‘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.’