Barca rule out selling Villa until summer

BARCELONA striker David Villa will not be moving to the Premier League this month, according to club president Sandro Rosell.

Spain international Villa, who has been struggling to hold down a place in the Catalan side’s starting line-up this season, had been heavily linked with Arsenal this week, with Chelsea and Manchester City also thought to be interested.

But Rosell said yesterday: “I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the winter market. He is ours and we need him, there is a lot of the season left.”

Having loaned Moroccan misfit Marouane Chamakh to West Ham last week, Arsenal were believed to be interested in signing Villa as another attacking option in a squad which has also lost Ivorian Gervinho to the African Cup of Nations.

Villa, Spain’s all-time record goalscorer, missed their European Championship success last summer after breaking his leg in December 2011, and has just five league goals and six La Liga starts this term.

Meanwhile Manchester City have returned more than 900 of their 3,000 allocated tickets for Sunday’s match at Arsenal after their supporters objected to the £62 price. Gunners chiefs have put the seats back on sale to home fans.