Villa to leave Australia early,  future unclear

Villa to leave Australia early, future unclear

Published Oct. 21, 2014 11:28 p.m. ET

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.