The Mail on Sunday says Arsenal's board has given Gunners boss Arsene Wenger the green light to spend big in the January market after a crunch meeting on Thursday - which included Stan Kroenke flying from the 'States to sit in on the talks.
Villa will almost certainly be available from Valencia as Wenger attempts to restore credibility to a season in which they have suffered a string of surprise defeats in the Premier League, a Carling Cup exit at Burnley and slipped to second place in a Champions League group they had earlier dominated.
Though Wenger would face competition for Villa from Manchester City, who are in negotiations with the player's agent, Jose Luis Tamargo, the striker, who was one of Spain's Euro 2008 heroes, is much more likely to want to move to the Emirates Stadium.
Wenger's decision to spend will be influenced by the desire of Cesc Fabregas, recently made captain, to see the squad strengthened. Fabregas is expected to negotiate a new deal in the summer but could leave next January for a cut-price £16million.
Unless he feels he can win trophies at Arsenal, he would be unlikely to commit his future to the club.