New York City captain David Villa has left the MLS side, the club today announced.
According to The Athletic HQ's Pablo Maurer, the 36-year-old Spanish striker could reportedly be making his way to Japan "for one last year."
Villa is best known for his time at Barcelona, making 77 appearances for the club and scoring 33 times.
The World Cup-winning Spaniard played for Atlético Madrid in the 2013-14 La Liga season before he completed a move to New York City. Since then, he has made over 100 appearances for the MLS club and scored an incredible 80 times.
Some news: #NYCFC are set to announce the departure of David Villa today. I'm unable to get any firm confirmation on this, but I've heard a lot of chatter over the past few days that he's headed to Japan for one last year. #MLS
- Pablo Maurer (@MLSist) 28 November 2018
David Villa joining Torres and Iniesta in Japan.
- Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) 28 November 2018
"I can only say thank you, thank you to everybody," he told NYCFC. "First, to City Football Group that gave me the opportunity to come here. To NYCFC and MLS for accepting me. To everybody at the club who helped me day by day.
"Thank you to the people in the offices, the people working with the team and the coaches and staff.
"Thank you to my teammates -- without them it would have been impossible to be successful. Thank you to the people working in the media that always gave me the respect and the love.
"Obviously, our fans. I remember the first day I showed the jersey and the supporters were there. I would have liked to give the supporters the MLS Cup, but I don't have any doubts that in the next years the club will get it for sure.
"My experience here was amazing. It gave me everything as a soccer player, as a person, and as a family man. I'll always remember this experience with love. My heart is here and I'm an NYCFC supporter forever."
Villa has previously squashed ideas that he could retire, meaning that a move to Japan is far from unlikely.
Just in: David Villa will not be returning to #NYCFC next season.
- Kyle Schnitzer (@Kyle_Schnitzer) 28 November 2018
.@Guaje7Villa is @NYCFC. His legacy will last generations. Thank you Captain #VillaForeverhttps://t.co/S7wNqllNE6
- Mark Booth (@markbooth_nycfc) 28 November 2018
Big news coming out of MLS today as David Villa looks set to leave @NYCFC and move to Japan
- Dean Jones (@DeanJonesBR) 28 November 2018
Should Villa move to Japan?
Let us know in the comments.
Featured Image Credit: PA
- Everton linked with shock deadline day move
- Liverpool star linked with shock PSG move after previous 'meeting' with club chief
- Fan Creates Brutal Compilation Of David De Gea's Poor Performance Against Aston Villa After Error Costs Man Utd Victory
- Leicester City linked with shock move for Real Madrid legend Marcelo