David Villa’s season looks set to be over after the Barcelona striker suffered a broken leg in their 4-0 Club World Cup semi-final win over Al Sadd on Thursday morning.
There had been constant rumours about the striker in recent weeks, with several papers reporting the World Cup winner could leave the Nou Camp and head to either Chelsea or Liverpool this January.
The injury – which Barcelona club doctors have confirmed is a fractured tibia in his left leg – looks to have ended those rumours as the former Valencia striker may have to spend the remainder of the season on the treatment table.
It’s a huge blow to Barcelona who had constantly denied reports he was for sale.
He may not have been banging them in at the same rate as Lionel Messi, but the Spaniard had already hit nine goals this term and showed his ability on the big occasion by scoring in Barca’s Champions League final win over Manchester United last season.
Villa may well have spent the rest of this season deputising for Alexis Sanchez who recently returned from injury but losing him means Pep Guardiola is without an experienced campaigner for the second half of a season in which they are expected to challenge on several fronts.
Barcelona are currently 23/20 to win La Liga following their El Clasico victory over Real Madrid last weekend – exactly the same odds as the capital side.
However, any more injuries could seriously hinder their chances in a league where even a draw for Barca or Real is viewed as a mini-disaster.