David villa

Arsenal have officially opened formal talks with Barcelona to sign David Villa, according to Goal.com.

The Gunners’ contract negotiator Dicky Law has been in Spain to negotiate the transfer of the country’s all-time leading goalscorer and Arsenal are growing increasingly confident that they can land the striker before the transfer window closes on Thursday.

The Londoners have been chasing Villa all month but any efforts to sign the player have up until now been thwarted by a variety of issues, such as Barcelona’s asking fee and reluctance to sell.

But it appears as though the La Liga leaders have softened their stance in recent days with the Catalans now apparently more reciprocal to a deal.

According to Spanish sources, Villa is “very keen” to join Arsenal having found himself on the fringes at the Nou Camp since returning from a broken leg.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is also said to be a fan of the Spaniard and is prepared to pay up to £13.8 million for his transfer and match his £110,000-per-week wages.

The Gunners also have an advantage over Barcelona in that the La Liga outfit still owe them payment for the transfers that took Cesc Fabregas and Alex Song to the Nou Camp in 2011 and 2012, a fact of which is said to be factoring into negotiations for the sale of Villa.

Arsenal need a new striker with Gervinho currently contesting the African Cup of Nations and Marouane Chamakh loaned out to West Ham.

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This article was first posted on January 29, 2013