Atletico rebuff Villa bid
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Atletico Madrid have rejected an offer from Aston Villa for young midfielder Gabi.Atletico Madrid have rejected an offer from Aston Villa for young midfielder Gabi.
Reports in Spain insist Villa were unsuccessful with a bid of é¼6.5 million (£4 million) for the 22-year-old.
Gabi, full name Gabriel Fernandez Arenas, is a central midfielder who shot to prominence in Spain last term with his displays whilst on a season-long loan at Getafe.
He was a key figure as Getafe defied the odds to comfortably retain their top-flight status and returned to Atletico having enhanced both his reputation and first-team prospects.
Under new coach Carlos Bianchi, the youngster has been a fixture during Los Rojiblancos' pre-season programme and it was on the club's tour of England he caught the eye of Villa boss David O'Leary.
The Villa chief has substantial transfer funds available to improve his squad and was ready to spend a sizeable chunk of that on bringing the young Spaniard to The Premiership.
However, Atletico regard the player - who was scouted by Arsenal last term - as having a big future at the Vicente Calderon and instantly rebuffed the approach.
Meanwhile, another Atletico midfielder, Raul Medina, is to join Cuidad de Murcia on a season-long loan.