Arsenal have moved a step closer to signing David Villa after reportedly opening formal talks with the Barcelona striker.
The club’s contract negotiator, Dick Law, has flown over to Spain to get proceedings underway, with the Gunners hopeful of a move before the end of the transfer window on Thursday night, according to Goal.com, although the club have tonight denied entering talks.
Arsenal have been tracking the Spanish international all month, with the 31-year-old having struggled to break into the Barcelona side this season due to boss Tito Vilanova’s preference of using the ‘false nine’ role instead.
It had appeared that no deal would materialize to bring Villa to north London but Arsenal apparently made a breakthrough at the weekend and a switch could now take place.
It is believed boss Arsene Wenger is prepared to fork out up to £13.8 million for Spain’s all-time top goalscorer and match his current wages at the Nou Camp, which totals £110,000-a-week.
It would be a massive show of intent from the Gunners, who traditionally shy away from big transfer fees and wage bills.
Arsenal currently sit sixth in the Premier League table, four points behind local rivals Spurs, who occupy the final Champions League qualification place.