Villa was close to making the move to the Gunners, but Arsene Wenger later revealed that Barca did not want to sell at that time.
Six months later the striker went to Atletico Madrid and spent a year with them before moving onto New York City. Villa retired in December after four years in New York and then a season in Japan with Vissel Kobe.
"We were in a lot of meetings and a lot of calls," the 38-year-old told BBC Sport.
"I felt 90% in that moment that I (would) go to Arsenal and Arsene Wenger.
"But in that moment we didn't arrive to the deal, Atletico Madrid arrived and in three or four days fixed everything.
"I don't know what would have happened if I'd signed for Arsenal. I'm very happy that I signed for Atletico Madrid, not just for winning the league but for everything. I'm very happy to have made that choice."
As well as winning La Liga with Atleti, Villa also won two Spanish titles with Barca and the Champions League - scoring in the 2011 final triumph over Manchester United.
The forward was also a key part of the Spain side that won Euro 2008 and then lifted the World Cup in South Africa two years later.
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