MADRID, Jun 15 – Barcelona on Sunday went head-to-head with bitter rivals Real Madrid in the battle to sign Spanish international striker David Villa from Valencia."Negotiations to sign David Villa have been opened. There are a lot of players who want to come here. That’s great and it’s something that people should know," Rafael Yuste, vice-president of Barcelona, told local radio.
The Mundo Deportivo newspaper on Sunday reported that the champions had tabled a 35-million-euro bid for Villa.
Real Madrid, who have already bought superstars Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo this month, had been chasing Villa but were reported to have been put off by a 42-million-euro asking price.
Meanwhile, other reports indicate, Manchester United could be about to break the British transfer record by launching a £45m bid for Valencia striker David Villa.
Reports say that Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping to beat Real Madrid in the race for Villa’s signature who is almost certain to be sold this summer by Valencia who are mired in debt.
Villa is one of the most coveted strikers in the world game and with Barcelona, Chelsea and Real Madrid all chasing the 27-year-old it would be a major coup if Ferguson were successful in luring the Spanish international to Old Trafford.
Real Madrid are widely felt to be the favourites to land the player.
Matching Valencia’s valuation of Villa should not be a problem for United whose coffers are set to be swelled by the £80m deal struck last week with Real Madrid for the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo; some reports claim that Ferguson will be given a total transfer fund of £100m this summer to augment his squad.
However, it is thought Villa himself will make the final decision, and although that is clouded by his involvement in the Confederations Cup in South Africa with the Spanish national team.
He has previously indicated that Real Madrid would be his first choice if Valencia decide to sell.