Gunners facing competition from La Liga club for World Cup winner.
Arsenal could lose out in the race for Barcelona striker David Villa after Atletico Madrid make a bid for the Spaniard.
A host of Premier League clubs including Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool have been linked with Villa but the Gunners were understood to be front-runners for the World Cup winner, with boss Arsene Wenger ready to move for the 31-year-old this month.
Villa has been a peripheral figure at the Nou Camp this season, starting just six games for the league leaders. New boss Tito Vilanova has favoured the likes of Christian Tello, Pedro and Alexis Sanchez as support for Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, using Villa mainly from the bench.
But the Spain international, who joined Los Cules from Valencia in 2009 for £33m, has still found the net five times suggesting his eye for goal has not deserted him, despite a lengthy injury lay-off last term.
But Arsenal’s hopes of landing Villa could be thwarted after Spanish webiste Grada360.com revealed Atlteico Madrid had made a £12m bid for the forward, which could be accepted by Barca.
The deal could work for both parties, with Villa’s contract set to expire in summer 2014 and Barca keen to cash-in on the striker before next season.
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