Real plot bid for Chelsea star as second choice.
Real Madrid could make a big money offer for Chelsea star Juan Mata this summer if they miss out on their first choice of Gareth Bale from Tottenham.
Both players have lit up the Premier League with their displays this season, with the Spurs star edging out Mata for the PFA Player of the Year award.
With Cristiano Ronaldo unhappy at the club and possibly leaving for PSG, an attacking winger of that kind is a priority for the Spanish giants as they look to wrestle the La Liga title back off rivals Barcelona next season.
Bale is still Real’s prime target, and they are willing to spend as much as £65million on the Welsh winger, which would make the former Southampton man the second most expensive transfer in the game’s history.
However, there are a couple of potential snags that could halt the deal, as Spurs are determined to keep hold of their star player, offering him an enormous wage rise that could persuade him to remain at White Hart Lane even if they do not manage to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Another is that Manchester United are readying a sizable bid for Bale as well, with the 23-year-old understood to be tempted to stay in England, as well as play alongside and learn from Welsh legend Ryan Giggs. Sir Alex Ferguson has expressed his admiration for Bale, revealing that he was frustrated at missing out on signing him when he was a youngster at Southampton.
With Real boss Jose Mourinho set to leave Madrid at the end of the season, there are likely to be a number of changes made at the club, and they may be preoccupied in their search for a new manager to replace the Portuguese tactician, giving United the edge in signing Bale.
Failure to land Bale would see them turn their attention to Stamford Bridge, where Mata has impressed since joining from Valencia in 2011. Although the Blues will not want to sell their midfield maestro and have no financial need to do so, Mata may feel playing in Spain would boost his chances catching the attention of national team manager Vicente Del Bosque, as well as the fact that Champions League football is still not a certainty at the club next season.
The 25-year-old actually started his career in Real Madrid’s youth system, though he made a name for himself at Valencia. Despite his rejection at the club as a youngster, he is said to remain fond of them, and of course playing for his country’s biggest team is the pinnacle for any Spanish footballer.
Chelsea look to already have agreed a deal for Bayer Leverkusen’s Andre Schurrle, so they have a replacement already in store if Mata leaves, though they will do their best to hold out for a huge sum for the player who has provided an immensely impressive 14 goals and 18 assists this season.
With Spurs valuing Bale at £65million, Chelsea will expect at least that or more for Mata.