Barcelona ready to sacrifice star striker
Published 23:05 18/06/11 By Michael Morgan
Barcelona are preparing to offer David Villa to Manchester City and Chelsea for £40million.
The Catalan giants have reluctantly accepted that they will have to sacrifice their World Cup-winning striker to help fund a £91m triple summer swoop for Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas, Udinese winger Alexis Sanchez and Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi.
Barca boss Pep Guardiola has been restricted to a £40m transfer budget as the La Liga and Champions League winners set about slashing their £350m debt.
And Nou Camp president Sandro Rosell has made it clear to his manager that further money for signings must be generated through sales.
Villa, 29, joined Barca only 13 months ago in a £35m switch from Valencia and notched 23 goals for Guardiola’s team last season.
He is also Spain’s all-time record scorer with 46 goals in 72 international appearances.
A source revealed: “Guardiola has a list of players he is prepared to move on to give him more spending power in the transfer market, but Villa is definitely not on that list.
“Ideally, he wants to keep Villa – especially after the impact he made in his first campaign with Barca. He sees David as a big player as his side push for more trophies next season.
“But he also knows that he may have to sacrifice Villa to finance incoming deals. And Manchester City and Chelsea would be very happy to buy Villa.”
Rosell has told the Gunners that he won’t pay more than £35m for Fabregas, while a £2.7m-a-season deal with the £30m-rated Sanchez – who is also being chased by Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus and Inter Milan – has already been agreed.
Rossi is close to completing a £26m switch, and his agent Federico Pastorello confirmed: “His dream is to certainly wear the Barcelona shirt and with official negotiation I believe a deal can be done.”
Barca’s Spanish international centre-back Gerard Pique, who played alongside Rossi when they were youngsters together at Old Trafford, said: “Giuseppe has so much talent, good control and is very fast.
“He fits neatly into Barcelona as both a man and a player.”