Big news coming out of the Nou Camp today. Barcelona president Sandro Rosell gave a press conference in Spain yesterday and pretty much said plainly that David Villa will remain a blaugrana player next year.
Villa has been a particularly juicy transfer target for both Tottenham and Arsenal in this offseason, with both North London clubs supposedly interested in signing the 31-year old Spanish striker. However, Rosell has attempted to squash rumors that Villa could be on the move:
"Villa remains a Barcelona player until we say otherwise, and he will continue to be next season. We will support him in that."
Yes, that is a real and actual quote from the president of Barcelona, not a sourceless transfer rumor. David Villa himself has also distanced himself from talk of a move away from Camp Nou, denying any sort of transfer ahead of this summer's Confederations Cup:
"Throughout my career I have always been respectful of my current club. Right now I'm just thinking about doing a good job in Brazil [at the Confederations Cup] and then we will see.
We will have to analyze many things during the summer, but as of right now I'm not thinking of anything else other than playing football for Spain...
... I have a contract and I have always said that I am very happy in Barcelona."
This would seem to put the kibosh on Villa joining either North London club next year, which is a very disappointing development. Villa has scored more goals for Spain than any other player, and while there has been considerable debate as to his role and impact on Tottenham's team, signing Villa would nevertheless be seen a significant coup for the club. As we've written before, players change their minds during transfer windows, and that could still happen here as we move through the Silly Season™, but unquestionably, this is a huge blow towards the possibility of David Villa wearing lilywhite next season.