Arsenal have been handed another lifeline in their quest to bring David Villa to the Emirates, with the Barcelona forward reportedly telling the Spanish club he wants to leave in January.
Villa has hardly started any games for Barca in La Liga this season, with manager Tito Vilanova preferring to play Lionel Messi as a "false No. 9," with Pedro Rodriguez on the right and the peerless Andres Iniesta on the left.
That situation, which shows no signs of changing, has left Villa in a dilemma, and according to Spanish newspaper Sport, the Spanish international has demanded he be allowed to leave Barca this month.
Arsenal have so far been rebuffed by Barcelona, every time they have tried to negotiate a deal with the club for Villa.
The president Sandro Rosell and Vilanova have both reiterated their desire to keep their player at the club, saying he is not for sale.
However, if Villa has indeed demanded a move away, as reports in Spain suggest, then it changes things quite a bit with Arsenal then having the upperhand.
Barcelona have just slipped up in the title race, falling to Real Sociedad after leading by two goals at the weekend. While they still hold a sizeable lead at the top of La Liga, they will not want any off-field issues hampering their progress, both in the league and the Champions League.
Villa will not create too many problems, that is for sure, such is the class of the man; however, even the slightest bit of unrest can tip over to field, meaning a change in the stance will be necessary.
Knowing the situation, Arsene Wenger is likely to take advantage by pressing for the deal, with Villa his No. 1 target. There is little doubt that Arsenal need a proven goalscorer in their lineup, after the amount of chances they missed in the English Premier League loss to Chelsea Sunday.
Villa also has his heart set on a move to the Emirates, further paving the way for a move, and the fact that Arsenal have sold so many players to Barcelona in the past and maintain a good relationship with the Spanish giants might also work in their favor.
If Villa does join, as almost every Arsenal fan will be hoping, then the striker has the capabilities to transform the team's season considerably.