By TIM FONTENAULT
Atletico Madrid striker David Villa would train with Premier League champions Manchester City until February if he signs with New York City FC, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Villa has been linked to NYCFC, which will begin play in Major League Soccer next season, for several days, and a move appears to be imminent. The report also adds that Villa will have time to settle his family in the U.S. before he joins NYCFC for their inaugural season.
Manchester City co-owns the expansion club with Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees, which would explain the reason for the striker training in England until MLS camps open. The deal is not yet done, however, and according to reports in Australia, Villa could still join NYCFC’s sister club, A-League side Melbourne Hearts, which is also owned by Manchester City.
If this report is true, Villa would be risking significant time off the field ahead of the move, as he would be training, but after the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final, his next club appearance would be in March, when NYCFC begins its first MLS season.
Villa scored 13 goals in 30 matches for the La Liga champions during his first season at the club after a move from FC Barcelona. He has spent his entire career in Spain, having also played for Valencia, Real Zaragoza and Sporting Gijon. The 32 year old has 223 goals in La Liga in 426 matches.
The Spanish striker is preparing for this summer’s World Cup with the reigning champions. Villa is Spain’s all-time leading scorer with 56 goals in 94 caps. The next closest active player is Fernando Torres, who is third all time with 36 goals in 106 caps.
NYCFC’s first manager, former Real Salt Lake boss Jason Kreis, has been in Manchester since last January preparing for his new role.
What do you think of this report? Do you believe that Villa would be okay without playing regularly for a long period? Do you think that Villa will sign in New York?
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