Transfer news

Villa won't be drawn on Barcelona future

April 2, 2013
By Dermot Corrigan, Spain Correspondent

David Villa says the build-up to Barcelona’s Champions League quarter-final first leg at Paris Saint-Germain is not the right moment to start discussing his future.

David Villa
PA PhotosDavid Villa is happy at Barcelona

- Vilanova set for return to bench

Villa, 31, has been the subject of regular transfer speculation in recent months, with the striker reportedly being unhappy with a lack of game time at the Camp Nou and Arsenal believed to have wanted him during January’s transfer window.

Recent weeks have brought a return to Barca’s first choice XI, and Spain’s record goalscorer told reporters at Monday’s pre-game press conference at the Parc des Princes that he was happy at the moment, but did not want to talk about the possibility of extending his current contract, which ends in June 2014.

“I have felt very good for a while now, despite the setbacks with little injuries,” Villa said. “I am with the team again, playing good games. Now is not the moment to talk about contract extensions. I hope tomorrow to enjoy some minutes against a great opponent. I am thinking about things day to day. It would show a lack of respect to talk about my future when we have a big game tomorrow. I feel good [at Barca], I am happy, they treat me very well, but this is something not to be talked about at the moment.”

Villa did not feature in his club’s 2-0 defeat in their last-16 first leg at AC Milan, but was named in the starting XI for the return against the Italians, taking his chance by scoring the key third goal in the 4-0 win which saw Barca progress.

Being out of the team had not been a fun experience, the former Valencia man admitted.

“When you are not enjoying minutes on the pitch life is different,” he said. “But I always trained with intensity to get more of a chance. The game time I am getting now is the fruit of all that unseen work. I live in the present, and do not think about the past or the future.”

Happier talking about how Tuesday’s clash with the Ligue 1 leaders at the Parc des Princes might turn out, Villa said his side would have to balance their wish to get an away goal with taking care not to leave themselves too open at the back.

“It is important to score an away goal, and we realise that,” he said. “We know this is just one game, there is also the second leg at the Camp Nou. We will try and get an advantage in tomorrow’s game, but any mistake could be bad for us.”

Villa joined Barcelona from Valencia in the summer of 2010, arriving just as Zlatan Ibrahimovic was leaving for Milan on loan after a mixed 12 months at the Camp Nou. That Qatari-owned PSG are signing players of the Sweden international’s quality shows the level the French club are now at, Villa said.

“With players like Ibra you must hope he does not have a good night, that our defenders stop him,” he said. “He is unique. PSG, with their new owners, have made signings of incalculable worth, with prestige. They are among the best eight teams in Europe right now."