Growing reports linking Barcelona first-teamer with shock Swansea switch

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Michael Laudrup may already win the award for the signing of the season after bringing in current Premier League top scorer Michu for £2m, but if speculation is correct, the Swansea boss may even be able to trump this deal.

Given the gulf between Swansea and the biggest clubs in world football, signing a Barcelona first-teamer is a situation limited to dreams or a decade-long game of Football Manager.

However, rumours are growing that Swansea are ready to take David Villa on loan in January, as the Spanish striker struggles to nail down a starting spot.

The reports have been so strong that it is just 2/1 that Villa joins Swansea on loan in January.

A slight shift in tactics from Tito Vilanova has resulted in Alexis Sanchez and Pedro playing in the wide areas, while Christian Tello’s new contract also suggests that Villa may be allowed to move on.

Villa has struggled for a regular run of games since recovering from a broken leg and so a loan deal may be best for both parties in order to help him return to full fitness.

Arsenal and Juventus are other front runners to sign Villa, but Barcelona may prefer not to allow the 31-year-old to join some of their bigger European rivals and boost their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Swansea have a growing Spanish contingent under Laudrup, with Chico and Pablo Hernandez joining Michu among the new arrivals, while Jonathan de Guzmán also arrived from Villarreal.

Therefore, Villa should have no problems fitting in at the Liberty and Laudrup plays a similar type of passing football that the striker will have become accustomed to in recent seasons.

If Villa does join, 33/1 will seem an especially big price that Swansea finish in the top six this season, while 13/8 would effectively be free money that the at worst finish in the top half.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.