Villa to leave Australia early, future unclear
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Spanish striker David Villa’s loan deal with Melbourne City will be cut short after four matches, with apparently no guarantee he will return to Australia’s A-League.
Melbourne City confirmed Wednesday that Villa will return to his New York City club in Major League Soccer after the Australian team’s fourth-round match on Friday, Oct. 31.
New York City and Melbourne City are affiliates of English Premier League club Manchester City.
Melbourne coach John van ’t Schip said whether Villa books a return flight to Melbourne is the subject of negotiation, but added “I’m confident that he’s happy here and there will be some talks in the coming days.”
Villa, Spain’s all-time leading scorer, is understood to be keen to see his young family which recently settled in New York, and to do some promotional duties for his new club.
A Melbourne City spokesman said Villa’s exact number of A-League games was not established, despite the fact that 10 games was prominently mentioned when he announced his Aussie assignment in August.
Under A-League guest player rules, Villa can play up to 10 games for a club.
With Villa in the lineup, Melbourne City attracted more than 15,000 people to its first home game of the season.
Villa scored a goal in each match for City, both second-half equalizers which left his team with two draws and in seventh place in the 10-team league.