Atlético Madrid striker David Villa has announced he will leave the La Liga champions after being made an ‘irresistible’ offer thought to be from MLS side New York City FC. Villa, 32, was at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hospital on Saturday, where he underwent a medical ahead of a move to Manchester City’s U.S. franchise.
The new club is a joint venture between Premiership team Manchester City and the USA’s New York Yankees.
Via the Atlético website Villa sent a message to fans: ‘It is an irresistible project for me and my family, it is very, very good. It is about football and I have to accept it.’
The player said: ‘I will be an Atlético fan all my life for what they have given me this year.
‘It has been a great project for me both personally as well as sporting and now I face a new challenge which is what I have always looked to do in my career and my life,’ he added.
Villa also thanked club manager Diego Simeone, who reportedly tried hard to convince him to stay.
The player said: ‘I would like to thank the people at Atlético and those that tried to convince me to stay, like Cholo (coach Diego Simeone) and the rest of the coaching staff.’
New York City Football Club (NYCFC) will be launched in the next Major League Soccer season.
The player moved to Atlético Madrid from FC Barcelona ahead of last season and, leading the attack alongside Diego Costa, helped them win their first La Liga title since 1996.
Villa has been named in Vicente del Bosque’s 23-man squad to lead the charge in Brazil at this summer’s World Cup.
Spain will be looking to hold on to their title as world champions, going up against the Netherlands first on June 13 before facing Australia and Chile.