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David Villa could become a long-term target for Liverpool – after finding his first-team starts limited at Barcelona.

The Spanish superstar was wanted by the Reds 18 months ago when he left Valencia, but Barca beat off competition from Anfield and Real Madrid to clinch his signature.

However, Villa’s situation at the Nou Camp has changed and his place is no longer guaranteed in the starting line-up.

And Liverpool will go for the player again next summer if they return to the Champions League.

Barca boss Pep Guardiola has found room for new boys Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez, and given more game time to Pedro, as Lionel Messi’s sidekick.

That has been at the expense of Villa, 29, who has denied reports he has a problem with Messi. But if Liverpool cement a top-four finish, the striker will be Kenny Dalglish’s priority signing.

The player’s contract with Barcelona runs until 2014 and contains a mind-boggling buy-out clause of £170million. But an offer in the region of £40m might tempt the Catalan giants.

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