After a couple of seasons in which Arsenal have seen Barcelona take away two of their best players without really putting up much of a fight, they plan on doing the same thing to the Spanish club, although with players who are a bit more unsettled at the Nou Camp, aiming to purchase David Villa, Victor Valdes and Alexis Sanchez for next season.
According to El Mundo Deportivo, Arsene Wenger will launch a trio of bids for the Barca players once the season is over, after already being linked to Villa throughout the January transfer window, while Valdes has been linked to quite a few clubs since announcing he won’t be signing a new contract with the club. Sanchez is more of a new addition to the Arsenal interests, although if he really does become available, the Gunners won’t be the only big club chasing him.
Villa had a rough start to the season, but it looks like things are coming together for him in the last couple of weeks, scoring in the mega important Champions League win over AC Milan, while his cooperation with Lionel Messi is back to its better days after some arguments and rumors of discontent earlier this season. He’s scored 14 goals in 31 matches this season, including 8 in the La Liga.
Sanchez has turned from a flashy scoring winger into a hard working man on the flanks, although both he and the club aren’t pleased with the transformation, or his goal drought. Despite costing €26 million in 2011 and being only 24, Barcelona might give up on hoping he’ll get out of his funk, scoring only 5 goals (with 10 assists) in 34 matches, and an even more abysmal 2 goals in 20 league matches.
Victor Valdes has a contract expiring in 2014, but if he has no plan to renew it, the goalkeeper, who hasn’t played for any other club and has been the starting GK for Barca since 2003, will spark interest in quite a few clubs around the continent, mainly in the Premier League.
A lot of this depends on Arsenal finishing the season in the top 4, with rumors of separate shopping lists for both scenarios, although it isn’t known what the plans will be for each separate finish.