Photo: FC Barcelona Reaches Deal with Atletico Madrid for David Villa
Spanish international David Villa is on his way from FC Barcelona to Atletico Madrid in a deal that is potentially worth up to 5.1 million euros ($6.55 million), Barça said Monday.
Copa del Rey winner Atletico will pay the defending La Liga champion 2.1 million euros this season, with the promise of another 2.1 million if the 31-year-old forward continues to play in 2014-2015, Barcelona said in a statement.
Atletico will have to hand over an additional 1 million euros if Villa remains with the club into the 2015-2016 season.
Barcelona also retains a claim to 50 percent of any future transfer fee for Villa.
With 56 goals in 92 appearances, Villa is Spain’s leading scorer in international play, despite his missing the 2012 European Championship due to injury.
He was an integral part of the Spanish squad that won Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.
Villa joined Barça in 2010 and put up 48 goals in 119 official matches with the club, but had a hard time getting back into the starting lineup after the broken leg he suffered in 2011 kept him off the pitch for months.
Barcelona’s recent signing of Brazilian sensation Neymar left Villa’s future with the red-and-blue even cloudier.
Premier League clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United were said to be interested in Villa, but Atletico - anxious to replace departed striker Radamel Falcao - beat the English sided to the negotiating table.
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are to meet next month in the Spanish Supercup.