Atletico Madrid to Rival Arsenal for Spanish Superstar – Report

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By Adrian Back | February 7, 2013 12:30 AM EST

Arsenal may face some stiff competition in the summer if they want to land Barcelona forward David Villa after it emerged that Atletico Madrid are also keen to secure the services of the prolific striker.

Atletico are concerned that they may lose their own world class forward Radamel Falcao at the end of the season as the Colombian continues to be heavily linked with a move to one of Europe's richest clubs.

Falcao is largely viewed as the best out-and-out striker in European football and it is believed that the likes of Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are all keen to persuade him to leave the Vicente Calderon in the summer.

The Metro believes that Atletico manager Diego Simeone is aware that it will be difficult to hang on to Falcao and is turning his attention towards Villa who has also been linked with possible move in the summer.

Villa has struggled to force his way into the Barcelona first team this season and there was plenty of speculation that Arsenal wanted to lure him away from the club in the January transfer window.

However, now official offer arrived from the north London club as Barcelona made it clear that they were not prepared to allow the striker to leave while they attempt to win three major trophies this season.

The Metro believes that Villa would prefer to remain in Spain after celebrating the birth of his third child so a move to Atletico, who are currently just seven points behind Barcelona in second place, may well suit the Spain international.

Villa may be struggling to get in the Barcelona first team but his ability has never been questioned, having scored 53 international goals to help Spain win the European Championships in 2009 and the World Cup in 2010.

There is a belief that he will be willing to leave the Camp Nou in the summer and there are reports suggesting that Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla did attempt to lure his international team-mate to the Emirates in January.

However, it will certainly not be easy for Arsenal to land the 31-year-old if Atletico continue to challenge for the title and achieve Champions League football.

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