When it comes to Spanish football, few pundits are as well placed and knowledgable as Sky pundit Guillem Balague.
Balague was on top of Cesc Fabregas' departure from Arsenal from the moment he informed the club he wanted to leave, to the moment he arrived in Barcelona.
Sadly it is not news Gunners fans will want to hear, despite their wishes to seal a remarkable deal for Spain's all-time record goalscorer.
Here's what he had to say on his Twitter page this evening:
David Villa and Barcelona: the Catalan club tell me they have no intention of selling the player. Case close till the summer then— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) January 28, 2013
Is it really case closed? Who do you believe?
Villa started at the weekend for Barcelona in their 5-1 win over Osasuna, and although he did not score, he put in a more impressive performance than in recent games.
Barcelona face Real Madrid in 'El Clasico' on Wednesday night, 24 hours before the transfer deadline in the Copa del Rey semi-final, and would prefer to do without the distraction.
It makes sense they would try to nip speculation in the bud early, and have maintained throughout this window Villa is not for sale, so it wouldn't surprise us at all if Balague is accurate.
The summer? That's a different matter... Of course, Arsenal fans shouldn't give up, it may be Barcelona's idea to feed Balague false information to drive Villa's price up as a negotiating tactic.
We'll only know for certain on February 1st. It could be an interesting few days.
Will Villa head to Arsenal or do you believe Balague there is no chance of a deal?
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