Villa: 'I never thought about leaving Valencia
Striker David Villa has reiterated that he wishes to remain at Valencia despite mounting speculation about his future.
The 26-year-old's stunning form at Euro 2008, where he has scored four goals for Spain in two appearances, has reportedly attracted the attention of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool and Chelsea among others.
Villa's name was already on the wanted list of many of Europe's top clubs thanks to his 18 goals in a campaign to forget for Los Che in La Liga last season, but now the pressure on Valencia to part with their star seems even greater.
It has been well documented in Spain that the club is struggling financially due to their early exit from the Champions League last season, combined with the costs of building a new stadium and the compensation paid to former coach Ronald Koeman.
This has inevitably led to reports the club will have to sell its top players to stay afloat, with Villa and his Spain team-mate David Silva being the ones most likely to fetch serious money.
But the club directors insist they have financial plans in place to ensure that neither Villa nor Silva have to leave, and will be delighted to hear the former again insist that he wants to stay.
'I left the club to compete in Euro 2008 and, when it ends, I hope to be going back to Valencia,' Villa told Valencian radio station Radio 9.
'I never thought about leaving before (Euro 2008) and I'm not thinking about it now.'
These latest comments will further calm the frayed nerves at the Mestalla after reports in the British media quoted Villa as saying that he was not interested in a move to Chelsea as 'money means nothing' and 'my only goal is to get better in my work'.
He seemed less opposed to joining the considerable Spanish contingent on Merseyside, adding 'Liverpool have a Spanish coach and I have a lot of friends there', but the money needed to prise Villa from Valencia may be a stumbling block for Rafael Benitez's side.
Therefore, instead of selling star player Villa, it appears that the club may now be willing to let some of their other players go in order to make ends meet.
Life-long Valencia player David Albelda is on the verge of a move after he told the club that the damage done to him when he was kicked out of the side by Koeman was irreversible.
On Thursday he said it was his 'obligation' to listen to offers, amid reports that Chelsea are interested in his services.
Now technical secretary Juan Sanchez has given up trying to hold on to the former Spain international, and has admitted he can leave if an offer comes in for him.
'He has a contract and we will therefore work to find him a transfer,' Sanchez told AS on Friday.
'Not all the midfielders can play. The coach (Unai Emery) wants this situation sorted before July. The important thing now is to look for a solution for him and for the club.'
Following Albelda out of the door is Portugal defender Miguel Brito, who after three seasons in Spain has had enough and has told the club he wants to leave.
His agent, Paulo Barbosa, again highlighted the English Premier League as his client's preferred destination, telling Portuguese newspaper A Bola: 'He (Miguel) has never hid the fact that he would like to play in England.'
He continued: 'We have spoken with Valencia's directors and we could possibly have news this week.
'Valencia understand his market value is high and they have a good perspective of making a good transaction. Let's see if we can find a solution.
Earlier this week Miguel told Spanish reporters at Euro 2008: 'The directors know what I think. I've told them I'd prefer to leave due to everything that has happened this year and that it would be best for both parties if I left.'
Marco Caneira, Ever Banega and Spain international defender Raul Albiol, who is a reported target of Arsenal, are also being linked with a move away from Mestalla.