Arsenal and Chelsea to vie for Barcelona striker David Villa

London clubs interested in signing the out-of-favour Spain striker

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The Independent Football

Arsenal have reportedly been quoted a fee of £16m if they wish to sign David Villa in January.

Spain's all-time leading goalscorer has fallen out of favour at Barcelona due to the persistence with a formation without a recognised striker.

Barcelona are ready to let the former Valencia striker leave, although the league leaders in Spain are holding out for a high fee for the 31-year-old.

Arsenal are likely to baulk at such a figure for a player of Villa's age, and will instead pursue a loan deal. Yet reports in Spain claim Barcelona are not desperate to off-load Villa next month, making any loan deal difficult to agree on.

Instead, Villa could be partnered with Fernando Torres at Chelsea, a combination that has terrorised international defences for years.

Chelsea are almost certain to sell Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool next month and with number one target Radamel Falcao wishing to remain at Atletico Madrid until the end of the season, the European champions may turn their attention to Villa.

Chelsea midfielder Oriol Romeu has expressed hope that his compatriot will join him at Stamford Bridge.

"I don't know that Villa's situation is, but if a great player like him comes, the record goalscorer with the national team, he would be welcomed and we would be happy,' Romeu is quoted as telling Spanish radio show Esports Cope.