The Spain legend has opened up on a failed move to Emirates Stadium, as he sought a new challenge from Camp Nou.
David Villa has shown how close he came to linking Arsenal before departing Barcelona back in 2013, insisting that he was”90 percent” sure the move would come to fruition at the same stage.
Villa enjoyed an illustrious career in the maximum level spanning nearly two decades, with powerful spells at Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid taken between 2005 and 2014.
The prior Spain international established himself as one of the greatest strikers in world football during his time in Camp Nou, scoring 43 goals in 110 games across all contests.
Villa helped Barcelona to win eight significant prizes in total, including La Liga twice and the Champions League, forming one-third of a mortal attacking triumvirate alongside Lionel Messi and Pedro.
The 38-year-old was used chiefly as a substitute during his final season with the Blaugrana, however, and finally decided to proceed in search of regular soccer.
Villa thought Arsenal are his next destination before Atletico came calling, as he informed BBC Sport: “We had been in a lot of meetings and plenty of calls.
“I felt 90% at that moment that I [would] go to Arsenal and Arsene Wenger.
“But at the moment we did not arrive in the bargain, Atletico Madrid came and in three or four times fixed everything.
“I don’t know what could have happened if I had signed for Arsenal. I am very happy that I signed for Atletico Madrid, not only for winning the league but for everything. I’m very pleased to have made that decision.”
Arsenal were not the only club linked with a move for Villa while he was at the peak of his abilities, together with Liverpool and Chelsea also credited with an interest in his services on many occasions.
The World Cup winner claims that he had plenty of opportunities to tackle a new challenge in England, but ended up staying in La Liga despite being an avid fan of the Premier League.
“I really like the Premier League. In my career, I watched plenty of games in the Premier League,” Villa added.
“I always thought about moving there 1 time, but at the moment that these offers came to me or to my broker, I made another choice. Why? I don’t understand.
“Many times I had the chance to go there, but I chose another way.”
Villa, who hung up his boots in December following a stint at Japan with Vissel Kobe, went on to talk about his time playing alongside Messi in Barcelona, insisting the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is”good at all” on the pitch.
“If you ask me what is his best position, I do not understand. He is not a No.9 but the top scorer,” Villa added. “He’s not a No.10 but he is the top support supplier. He is not a tall guy, but he scores headers – he is good at everything.
“We’re thinking sometimes he isn’t shooting well with the right foot, then he scores amazing goals with the right foot. I think he played a keeper one time and he did well.
“That is the reality of Messi. Everyone knows he is a quiet guy. He is very normal in the dressing room and on the field.”