Atletico Madrid agrees deal for Barcelona's Villa
July 8, 2013 -- Updated 1655 GMT (0055 HKT)
Spain striker David Villa arrived at Barcelona in 2010 from Valencia.
- Barcelona reach an agreement with Atletico Madrid for sale of David Villa
- The deal is worth up to $6.5 million over the next three years
- Villa is the highest goalscorer in the history of the Spanish national team
- Former Barca defender Eric Abidal joins Monaco on a three-year contract
(CNN) -- David Villa looks set to swap Catalonia for the Spanish capital after Barcelona announced it had agreed a deal to sell the striker to Atletico Madrid.
Villa, who is the Spanish national team's all-time leading goalscorer, could cost the 2013 Spanish Cup winners as much as $6.5 million.
"FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have reached an agreement in principle for the transfer of David Villa," read a statement from Spanish title holders Barca.
"The deal is set to bring Barca a maximum of €5.1 million, with €2.1m due this season, €2m more if Villa stays at Atletico next year and another million should he be at the Madrid club the season after.
Neymar of Brazil celebrates scoring his team's second goal in its 3-0 victory over Spain in the final of the Confederations Cup.
Glory on the pitch masks unrest in Brazil
Tour Brazilian football's spiritual home
Football continues as Brazilians protest
"Barca also reserves the right to 50% of any sell on fee in the future."
Read: Do Brazil still play the beautiful game?
Villa joined Barca from Valencia in 2010 and has gone on to score 48 goals in 119 games.
The 31-year-old has scored 56 goals in 92 matches for Spain and was part of his country's victorious squads at the European Championships in 2008 and 2012 and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Villa suffered a broken leg at the 2012 Club World Cup and, since recovering from the injury, has struggled to command a regular place in Barca's starting line-up.
Read: Football's loyal lieutenants
Villa had been heavily linked with a switch to the English Premier League, with Tottenham Hotspur rumored to be interested in the forward.
Meanwhile, French defender Eric Abidal has returned to his first professional club Monaco after his Barcelona contract expired at the end of last season.
The 33-year-old left back, who can also play at centre half, has signed a three-year deal in the principality and becomes the latest big-name to head to the newly-promoted club.
Abidal has spent much of the last two years battling a liver tumor which led to a liver transplant in March 2012.
Monaco, owned by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, won the French Second Division last season and have prepared for life back in the top tier with a host of high profile signings.
Colombian striker Radamel Falcao has joined from Atletico, with Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez also recruited from Porto.
Part of complete coverage on
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
December 6, 2013 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
The dreams of 32 footballing nations can begin at Friday's 2014 World Cup draw. It will be more complicated than most -- so click here for the lowdown.
CNN's Alex Thomas takes a brave punt on the 2014 champion ahead of Friday's World Cup draw.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Pele has backed Brazil to deliver a "fantastic" World Cup amid growing fears the country will not be ready in time to host football's showpiece event.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
Adidas unveils official match ball, the Brazuca, and CEO Herbert Hainer discusses the tech behind it.
November 29, 2013 -- Updated 2209 GMT (0609 HKT)
Zahir Belounis contemplated suicide as he was stuck in Qatar for two years. But the footballer says it still deserves to host the 2022 World Cup.
November 29, 2013 -- Updated 1708 GMT (0108 HKT)
As he celebrates his 40th birthday, just what is the secret to Ryan Giggs' longevity?
Two Belgian "brain coaches" are helping transform AC Milan from big-spender to developer of young talent, says CNN's John Sinnott.
October 22, 2013 -- Updated 1457 GMT (2257 HKT)
Shootings, attempted assassinations and intimidation - welcome to Libyan football in 2013.
October 18, 2013 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
Zahir Belounis' limbo existence is almost at an end. After a two-year nightmare, he has been told he will finally receive his Qatari exit visa.
October 10, 2013 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
France's multicultural stars shone brightest at the World Cup 15 years ago -- now could it be Belgium's turn to do the same in Brazil next year?
Adnan Januzaj and Diego Costa have highlighted a major dilemma for international football, says CNN's John Sinnott.
CNN's Alex Thomas reports from FIFA HQ after the ruling body delayed its decision on the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
FIFA's credibility rides on finding a solution to the Qatar World Cup controversy, says CNN's Ben Wyatt.
October 2, 2013 -- Updated 1534 GMT (2334 HKT)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic may have cost Paris Saint-Germain $30 million, but you can get your own chunk of the Swedish striker for just $41.
Today's five most popular stories