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David Villa Not Content to Become a Victim of Circumstance

He’s one of the best, if not the best, strikers in world football right now. But despite openly wanting a move away from Valencia, a combination of factors look set to scupper the possibility of a transfer. David Villa isn’t going to just let that happen… 

Villa: All he can do to encourage a transfer is what he does best — score goals...

Villa: Will do all he can do to encourage a transfer. Score goals...

A man who willingly lets himself become a victim of circumstance is invariably a man who never achieves his ultimate ambitions.
David Villa is keen that he does not become a victim of circumstance.
Over the past year, the Valencia striker’s name has been linked with almost every top club in Europe but, despite a concerted recent effort from those around him, a move has yet to materialise.
At 27 years of age, the prolific hitman knows that he needs to move soon if he is to achieve everything the game has to offer, at least at a domestic level. Valencia will be competing in the newly-formed Europa League next season but, like all world-class footballers, Villa craves a shot at the Champions League and the opportunity to win league titles.
With Valencia’s well documented financial troubles, it is unlikely the Mestalla-based outfit will be able to reach that stage in the immediate future.
And it is not as if the striker isn’t coveted by clubs that can offer him such opportunities. With his reputation buoyed—along with the rest of the Spain squad—as his country won 2008’s European Championship, Villa took his spectacular form into the 2008-09 season, scoring a stunning 49 goals in 58 starts across international and club games.
In the process, he cemented his position among the very best strikers in the game today.
Less than a week ago, Valencia were openly shopping around their crown jewel to anyone who might feasibly stump up the asking price, believed to be €53m. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Chelsea (among others) were believed to be queuing up to speak to the player affectionately known as “El Guaje” (The Kid).
Now, however, it is a slightly different matter.
“Villa is not for sale,” Valencia’s president, Manuel Llorente stated this week. “But if there is an offer that is scandalously scandalous we will consider it.”
No one knows the reason behind the u-turn. But having spent the past week actively approaching clubs to encourage talks, David Villa’s agent, Jose Luis Tamargo, certainly isn’t happy about it.
“We have no choice but to back out of the market with our tails between our legs,” Tamargo said. “I’m annoyed that they are toying with us like this. It would have been easier to say that he was not for sale in the first place, not say yes before and no now. I don’t like this at all.”
Disappointed but respectful of Valencia’s wishes, it appears all Villa can do now is try to persuade a club to make the “scandalous” offer his employers now require. And with some head-turning performances at the Confederations Cup over the past weeks, he has gone a long way to doing just that.
In Spain’s final group game on Saturday against a determined South Africa, Villa gave a timely exhibition of his ability to change a game at the highest level. With the game scoreless after 50 minutes, things looked bleak for Villa, when he saw his penalty well saved by South African keeper Itumeleng Khune.
But within a minute of that save, the 27-year-old responded to the disappointment with the sort of mental fortitude and goalscoring nous that few in the world game currently possess, chesting down and volleying an Albert Riera cross in one smooth movement that left Khune with no chance.
It was a goal that would have grabbed attention in boardrooms from Madrid to Manchester.The problem for Villa, however, is that attracting attention alone might not be enough. The asking price set by his club, even before they all but removed him from the market, was obviously deemed slightly prohibitive to interested parties.
No one can be sure what Llorente deems a “scandalously scandalous” offer to be, but it is safe to assume it is at least the original €53m quoted.
Chelsea and Liverpool, both believed to be fervent admirers of the striker (indeed, Rafa Benitez might be the most keen of all managers to sign him), have obviously been put off by the transfer fee—mainly due to the poor exchange rate.
Valencia’s asking price translates to £45m in the current market, but would have only been about £30m this time last year when the pound was still riding high.
At that price, at least one of the clubs would likely have fancied a bid.
Now however, the price is not a financially viable one.
Manchester United, having lost both Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez in the past two weeks, are also evidently in the market for a striker. With £80m (over four years) to budget with as a result of Ronaldo’s sale, they could afford a move for Villa—especially considering the Spaniard’s talents are of the sort that would enhance the team and, significantly, appear to compliment Wayne Rooney’s versatility, rather than exploit it.
But the recent admission that they would not sign players over the age of 26 (Villa is 27) due to the perceived lack of re-sale value such players would have, indicates both the enforced prudence of the Glazer regime, and the unfavourable economic conditions that English clubs face in the European market.
Villa’s challenge, then, is to encourage United, or his suitors on the continent, that the various obstacles they face are worth overcoming in order to acquire his services.
In that pursuit, Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid look the most likely to be persuaded. The exchange rate is not a barrier for either club, and the price demanded (assuming it still remains around the same figure) is one that they will be willing to start negotiations from.
But for Real Madrid, with upwards of €150m already invested in attackers, president Florentino Perez might not believe that Villa’s signing will create a profitable marketing frenzy in the same way his other blockbuster signings are set to.
Perez might feel it wiser to invest remaining funds in defensive reinforcements—and see which of his unwanted attackers (Robben, Van Nistelrooy, Huntelaar) have departed—before returning to Villa later in the summer.
That leaves Barcelona in the driving seat. But with a settled and successful squad, do they need to make any changes? The potential transfer of Samuel Eto’o (rumoured to be on the verge of an exit) might prove the pivotal factor, but it is almost certain the club will make no firm moves until the Cameroon international’s future is decided.
As much as he hates it then, Villa’s only off-the-field option might be to wait and see.
“Last week was not easy at all. I admit that it’s been bad for me,” Villa said after the South Africa game. “I wouldn’t wish all this on anybody but, with the advice of my family, I’ve erased it all from my mind.”
Sensibly, Villa seems to have realized that all he can do is remind football’s heavy hitters of exactly what he can contribute during games.
“When I go out on the pitch I try to show what I can do. On the pitch is where I feel better, and I’m proud to be part of this national team.”
Scoring the goals that take his country towards Confederations Cup success might not be enough to secure himself a move, but at least Villa can be consoled in the fact that there is nothing more he can do.
If Villa is to be a victim of circumstance, at least he will not be so willingly.

A man who willingly lets himself become a victim of circumstance is invariably a man who never achieves his ultimate ambitions.

David Villa is keen that he does not become a victim of circumstance.

Over the past year, the Valencia striker’s name has been linked with almost every top club in Europe but, despite a concerted recent effort from those around him, a move has yet to materialise.

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June 22, 2009 Posted by | Sport, World Football | , , | Leave a comment