Tottenham and Arsenal thwarted in bid to sign David Villa after Barcelona striker signs for Atletico Madrid

Striker will switch to La Liga rivals in £4.3m deal

Tottenham Hotspur received some bad transfer news last night as top striking target David Villa signed for Atletico Madrid.

Villa was always going to leave Barcelona this summer and has decided to stay in La Liga and join Atletico, who will pay just £4.4m for him.

Villa was the striker that the Spurs manager, Andre Villas-Boas, wanted the most this summer, and understandably so, given his brilliant record for Valencia, Barcelona and Spain. The 31-year-old has won two Spanish titles, the Champions League, the World Cup and the European Championship, and is Spain’s all-time top scorer with 56 goals.

Villas-Boas tried to sign him when managing Chelsea in 2011 and said in May he was “one of the world’s best strikers”, with whom he had a “good relationship” and that he was  confident he could make an impact in England.

But Spurs and Villas-Boas will now have to look elsewhere as they try to upgrade their attacking options this summer. Neither Emmanuel Adebayor – recently subject to a bid from Besiktas – nor Jermain Defoe were at their very best last season. After the signing of £17m Brazil midfielder Paulinho, it is up front where Spurs most need to improve.

Their interest in Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao was thought to have ended but now they have to look for a new forward, with Christian Benteke, Roberto Soldado and Loïc Rémy all possible options.

Defoe last night urged Spurs to keep hold of Gareth Bale, their top scorer and best player last season, who is coveted by Real Madrid.

“It’s important he stays,” said Defoe, speaking at the launch of Spurs’ new kit by Under Armour. “This year, we want a great season and we want to get into the Champions League and to do that you’ve got to keep your best players. He’s a special player.”

Michael Dawson, Spurs’ captain,  insisted that Bale – who was also  modelling the new kit – was committed to the club. “He’s a top guy,” said Dawson. “He’s here to do well, like all of us. Like the manager, like the staff at the football club, we’re striving to be successful for this club.

“He is known worldwide. I’m very lucky to play with him,” the defender added. “The kind of goals I’ve seen him score, winning us games... Last year, some of the goals he scored to help win us football matches were unbelievable.”

Under Armour is the Official Technical Partner of Tottenham Hotspur. For more information and to pre-order the new 2013/2014 home and away kits, please visit www.tottenhamhotspur.com

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable