Atletico Madrid agrees deal for Barcelona's Villa

Spain striker David Villa arrived at Barcelona in 2010 from Valencia.

Story highlights

  • 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

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.

"Barca also reserves the right to 50% of any sell on fee in the future."

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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.

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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.