FC Barcelona have this afternoon confirmed the departure of striker David Villa, who will join Barca's La Liga rivals, Atletico Madrid in a deal that could be worth €5.1 million to the Blaugrana. Linked with a transfer away from the Camp Nou for pretty much all of 2013, there were rumours that Villa would end up in the English Premier League, or possibly in the Serie A with Fiorentina, but having already lost Falcao to AS Monaco, it was Atletico Madrid who secured El Guaje signature for a fee that will surprise many Cules.
The deal earns Barcelona an initial €2.1 million with an additional €2 million payable if Villa stays with Atleti for the 2014/15. Should Villa stay with Atletico into the 2015/16 season, Barca will be paid an extra €1 million and if Los Colchoneros opt to sell Villa at any point, Barcelona will receive 50% of any transfer fee. However, Villa's departure does free up €7 million of salary space -- and in case anyone was wondering, that's exactly enough to fund the rumoured wage demands of a certain Brazilian centre-half, Paris Saint-Germain captain, Thiago Silva.
In a three year stint with the Blaugrana, Villa contributed 48 goals in 116 appearances, winning a number of titles in the process including the 2011 UEFA Champions League, where he scored Barca's third goal in a 3-1 victory over Manchester United. While it's sad to see David Villa leave the club after three years of loyal service, we wish him all the best at Atletico Madrid, and hope that he can earn his place back in the starting XI of the Spanish national team. For all your goals, hard work and humility; gracias El Guaje!