David Villa to leave New York City FC in December after four years at MLS club
David Villa will leave New York City FC at the end of the year, the MLS club have announced.
The Spanish World Cup winner, whose contract comes to an end on December 31, leaves after scoring 80 goals in 124 MLS appearances during a four-year stay.
Villa was the club's first signing in 2014 and during his stay in America he won the 2016 MLS MVP award, while his form saw him earn a recall to the Spain national team in 2017 after coming out of international retirement.
The former Champions League winner is expected to announce his next destination in the coming days, with reports in the United States suggesting he could follow Andres Iniesta and Fernando Torres in moving to Japan's J1 League.
"I can only say thank you, thank you to everybody. 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 team-mates - 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."
Meanwhile, Bastian Schweinsteiger has re-signed with Chicago Fire for the 2019 season.
Since joining the club from Manchester United in 2017, the 2014 World Cup winner has made 55 regular-season appearances and will count as a designated player for the next campaign.
"Let's raise a trophy. I believe in this club and I believe that we can be champions," said Schweinsteiger.
"This American journey has been very special for me and my family. I love being a part of the Chicago Fire and we appreciate how the city has embraced us with open arms.
"To the Fire fans, from my family to yours, I wish you a happy and safe holiday season and I will see you in Chicago next year."