Anfield boss to splash the cash.
DAVID VILLA could become a long-term target for Liverpool – after finding his first-team starts limited at Barcelona.
The Spanish superstar was wanted by the Reds 18 months ago when he left Valencia, but Barca beat off competition from Anfield and Real Madrid to clinch his signature.
However, Villa’s situation at the Nou Camp has changed and his place is no longer guaranteed in the starting line-up.
And Liverpool will go for the player again next summer if they return to the Champions League.
Barca boss Pep Guardiola has found room for new boys Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez, and given more game time to Pedro, as Lionel Messi’s sidekick.
That has been at the expense of Villa, 29, who has denied reports he has a problem with Messi. But if Liverpool cement a top-four finish, the striker will be Kenny Dalglish’s priority signing.
The player’s contract with Barcelona runs until 2014 and contains a mind-boggling buy-out clause of £170million. But an offer in the region of £40m might tempt the Catalan giants.
SOURCE: Sunday People
Even an offer for a player of David Vila’s caliber would be a statement of intent and clearly Liverpool would hope that an offer of £40m for a 29 year old may well be considered by Barcelona, not least because of late the Spanish international has not been firing on all cylinders.
The former Valencia man plays in a wider role than he did at the Mestalla and his role for the national team and some believe that the striker prefers a more orthodox central position and there have even been mutterings in the media about a fall out between Villa and Lionel Messi.
Liverpool forked out £35m for Andy Carroll in January and the former Newcastle United man has not delivered as yet and has spent much of the season on the bench starting just five Premier League matches thus far this season, scoring two goals.
Dalglish may feel that David Villa would be a perfect foil for Uruguayan Luis Suarez and there is no denying that as a pair they could well be an explosive combination.
In Villa’s first season at the Nou Camp he netted a very impressive 23 goals but his goal ratio was in fact lower than his previous nine campaigns with Valencia, Zaragoza and Gijon. This season he has managed just four in 12 La Liga matches as Pep Guardiola plays Spain’s record goalscorer in a supporting role for Lionel Messi.
Such is Liverpool’s uncertainty about Carroll’s ability to deliver the goods that yesterday Dalglish opted to play Dirk Kuyt up front with Suarez over the use of the England international.
£40m would be a large fee to spend on a player of Villa’s age but if he did seal a deal to join the Merseyside club he could well push the side on to become genuine contenders for major silverware but clearly the success of any bid would depend on qualification for the Champions League.