Manchester City and Chelsea in Villa tussle

According to the Daily Mirror, Manchester City and Chelsea are set to battle it out for Valencia star David Villa in January.

Villa was one of the summer’s hottest names, and a four-goal haul at Euro 2008 only served to fuel the speculation about him leaving the Mestalla. It looked like Valencia would eventually break and sell their star striker, but they chose not to cash in. Villa has repaid them with a blistering start to the season, with his 12 goals helping fire Valencia to third in La Liga, five points back of Barcelona after 13 matches.

Holding onto Villa could be a big benefit to Valencia’s hopes of remaining in the Champions League places and seriously challenging for the La Liga title, but their financial struggles could mean potential benefit gets sacrificed for immediate benefit.

City’s offer would likely be superior, and their immediate need for another striker is a little more pressing than Chelsea’s. However, I’m not sure if he’d leave a great situation in Spain unless he was going to a better one, and if Didier Drogba does indeed leave for Inter or somewhere else, I’d have to give the edge to Chelsea.

Whatever the price, there’s no doubt about whether City and Chelsea can pay it, and with that in mind, a bidding war could be just what Valencia might want in order to get the biggest fee for Villa. It may not match the exorbitant fees that were being bandied about in the summer, but he certainly won’t come on the cheap.

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