Stamford Bridge side look to win race for Nou Camp hotshot.
Bridge building: Chelsea set to grab Villa from under Liverpool’s and Arsenal’s noses
Benitez is planning a £12million January move for the Barcelona and Spain striker who would finally give him an alternative to Torres
World Cup winner Villa has become a Nou Camp outsider after suffering a broken leg last season, making just a handful of first-team starts for the La Liga leaders.
And interim Blues boss Rafa Benitez is now planning a £12million raid for his fellow Spaniard.
Benitez is seeking an out-and-out striker to give Fernando Torres the chance to rest in the second half of the season, and is also keen to land a combative and physical central midfielder.
But the Stamford Bridge chief also wants a player who can operate between the lines in the manner of Manchester City’s David Silva, and has identified the Barcelona man as the answer.
SOURCE: Daily Mirror
Given how well Fernando Torres and David Villa combined as a Spanish national team pairing some years back one can see why Chelsea would take an interest in the Barcelona striker. One does wonder if the duo can replicate the form that made them a feared pairing when both were at the top of their profession.
Rafa Benitez may feel that he is more likely to succeed in the pursuit of the Nou Camp striker than to lure Atletico Madrid forward Radamel Falcao in January, with the Colombian strongly linked with interest from the Stamford Bridge side in recent weeks.
David Villa has become something of a bit part player at Barcelona since his lengthy injury lay-off and life under Tito Vilanova has further limited his involvement in the first team set-up. The 31 year old has to vie with Alexis Sanchez, Pedro, and Cristian Tello for a spot supporting Lionel Messi in the Catalan side’s attack and has made just six La Liga starts thus far this season, being subbed on each occasion.
Villa has however retained a very decent strike rate when called upon, scoring 40 goals in 91 appearances for Barcelona since his £33m move to the club from Valencia two and a half years ago.
Chelsea look likely to sell Daniel Sturridge next month and have loaned out Romelu Lukaku to West Brom for the remainder of the season so there is certainly scope for much needed attacking reinforcements in January.
This source states that Chelsea are looking to beat off interest from fellow Premier League sides Liverpool and Arsenal to win the race to sign the experienced Spanish international.
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