Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has dismissed Spanish media reports linking David Villa with a move away from the Nou Camp in the January transfer window.
The speculation over the Spain international’s future appears to have sprung from Guardiola’s decision to omit the forward from his starting line-up for Saturday’s 3-1 victory in the Clasico against Real Madrid.
Marca – an openly pro-Real Madrid publication – claims Villa has been made available for transfer and already touted to “the great English clubs, mainly Chelsea, Liverpool and Aston Villa”, but Guardiola insists the speculation is nonsense.
Speaking to reporters in Japan ahead of Barcelona’s FIFA Club World Cup opener against Al-Sadd, Guardiola claimed:
“Marca lie. I have not spoken to David after the last match in Madrid, but all of the players are in my plans. I am the one who comes up with 25 different line-ups during the season because I feel that is the best thing to do. Most of the players that are here now will continue for the rest of this season and the next.”
The rumors that David Villa is going to leave Barcelona have been circulating around for month. The problem that Villa has, is that he prefers to play down the middle, but that is where Messi wants to play. So Villa gets shuffled out wide, where he is competing with Alexis Sanchez who is a true winger and who gives Barca a different look than what Villa does.