Arsenal on alert after David Villa asks to leave Barcelona
David Villa has told Barcelona that he wants to leave the club this month, according to reports in Spain.
The Spain international is understood to be growing increasingly frustrated with his lack of playing time and sees his future away from the Nou Camp.
That future could be at Arsenal, who have registered an interest in the 31-year-old striker.
The Gunners are desperate to add some fire power to their frontline, particularly after defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea in the league that have seen them slip worryingly off the pace in the hunt for Champions League qualification.
Arsenal's hopes of signing Villa appeared to have been dashed after a series of statements in recent weeks from Barcelona regarding the striker's future.
Manager Tito Vilanova said: "David is not going to leave. We are very happy with him."
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell also ruled out a move.
"I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the winter market," Rossell told Catalan radio station RAC1.
"He is ours and we need him, there is a lot of the season left."
However, if today's report in Spanish newspaper Sport are true, Arsenal's chances of bringing in the former Valencia striker during the current transfer window may not be over.