Heart in line for Villa move?

World Cup and Champions League winner David Villa has been linked with a short-term move to Melbourne Heart as part of his reported switch to New York City FC.

Spanish media outlets have claimed the 32-year-old striker is negotiating an early release from his contact at Atletico Madrid as he attempts to engineer a move to New York City, who will make their Major League Soccer debut in the 2014-15 season.

That would leave Villa short of match sharpness, prompting the possibility of a guest stint, outside the salary cap, at New York City's sister club Melbourne Heart.

Both teams are controlled by Manchester City's super-wealthy United Arab Emirates-based owners.

"The club has the opportunity to sign a further three VISA players," a Heart spokesman told the Herald Sun.

"In addition the rules allow for a guest player for up to 10 games of the season. With all of this in mind, the club will look to build the strongest squad possible for the forthcoming season."

Former Valencia man Villa helped Atleti to their unexpected La Liga triumph last season after moving to Estadio Vicente Calderon from Barcelona in July 2013.