Spurs boss plays down Mata link.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas believes Chelsea are unlikely to sell Juan Mata to a rival club, according to ESPN.
The Spaniard was first brought to Stamford Bridge by Villas-Boas during his time as manager of the club, and he has been linked with signing him again this summer after he appears to have fallen out of favour with new boss Jose Mourinho.
Mata was not included in Chelsea’s latest squad for the trip to Manchester United, and Mourinho has continued to target new signings in his position, being linked with a move for Porto winger Christian Atsu having already signed Andre Schurrle and Willian.
Arsenal, Liverpool and Atletico Madrid have also been linked with a move for the 25-year-old playmaker, but Villas-Boas believes the chances of him joining a club that Chelsea see as a rival is highly unlikely.
“First, Chelsea wouldn’t sell to Tottenham in any way or form, as they think that we are title contenders. Mata is a great, great player – player of the season last season – very, very important player for Chelsea,” the Portuguese coach said.
“They’re just not going to strengthen another team that, in their opinion, are rivals for the title.”
Spurs are seeking further additions to their squad as Gareth Bale nears a record-breaking move to Real Madrid, and are lining up moves for Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen as possible replacements for the Welshman.
The north Londoners have also been linked with defender Vlad Chiriches, and Villas-Boas is confident of further arrivals before the end of the summer.
“I have told you that we will continue restrengthening the squad so we are looking at different positions to make us stronger,” he added. “Not only those players [Lamela and Eriksen], others as well. In the next couple of days we will have further news and I think we will see further additions at Tottenham.”