Valencia ready to sell Villa

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The Independent Football

Valencia have intimated that they are ready to listen to offers for star striker David Villa.

Vice-president of the Spanish club, Fernando Gomez, has confirmed for the first time that they held talks with officials from Premier League big-spenders Manchester City over a potential deal for the 27-year-old hot-shot during the January transfer window.

The two clubs were unable to agree a fee for the Spain international but, with Valencia's financial problems worsening since the turn of the year, Gomez has suggested that a summer move could be on the cards for both Villa and fellow prize asset David Silva.

"I think they are two very important players with a lot of quality and, if we sell them, we are not going to sell them on the cheap," he said.

"I would like them both to stay. But we cannot discard anything and any of them could leave at the end of the season."

Meanwhile, defender Raul Albiol insists he has no desire to leave the club and would be content to spend the rest of his career at the Mestalla.

The 23-year-old Spain international has been a regular in the Valencia starting line-up for the last four seasons but was recently linked with moves to Liverpool and Arsenal.

However, when asked about the speculation, Albiol said: "I want to be here.

"I'm happy playing at my home-town club and I hope I can always remain here. I have a contract here and I hope to complete it.

"If you have to leave, you will, but until June 30 we are all here defending the Valencia shirt.”

Barcelona full-back Daniel Alves believes Sevilla midfielder Jesus Navas is good enough to enjoy success at one of Europe's biggest clubs.

The 25-year-old Alves moved from Sevilla to the Camp Nou last summer and has been one of Barca's star players so far this season.

When asked about Navas, Alves said: "It will not be long before he joins a club on the same level as Barca.

"Each year he becomes more and more mature and for me he is a great player.

"He always adds something different and many players at Barcelona have said how good he is."

Argentina international Gabriel Heinze has admitted that Real Madrid's Champions League capitulation to Liverpool has been hard to take.

Real crashed to a 4-0 defeat at Anfield on Tuesday to seal a 5-0 aggregate loss in the last 16 encounter, and Heinze is aware that the better team won the tie.

The former Manchester United star told AS: "The result was not important, I just wanted to qualify.

"I understand how the fans feel because I am very sad. I know what it is to be defeated. It is hard to take as they have eliminated us and the objective was to qualify.

"I am sad that we didn't go through because that means the other team were better and Liverpool were.

"The defeat was hard to take, for everyone, and a player loses a lot when games like these are lost.

"To play for this club you have to find strength and stand up though. In bad times, we must be together, because this is a big club."