City the latest side to show interest in Chelsea ace.
Manchester City are the latest side to be showing a serious interest in signing Juan Mata from Chelsea, CaughtOffside understands.
The 25-year-old’s future has been a somewhat surprising addition to this summer’s list of transfer rumours, with new Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho seemingly not including him in his first-team plans this season, leaving him on the bench for the first few games of the campaign and bringing in the likes of Andre Schurrle and Willian – who both play in his position – during the summer transfer window.
Mata has arguably been Chelsea’s best player since his arrival from Valencia in 2011, scoring 32 goals and providing 59 assists in his two seasons at Stamford Bridge, but has been linked with a host of other clubs this summer due to Mourinho’s seeming reluctance to continue to build a team around him.
Barcelona were linked with him earlier in the summer, and in recent days Atletico Madrid, Arsenal and Manchester United have shown an interest in signing him, with PSG also listed as one of his admirers today as the clock counts down towards the end of the transfer window.
City will now make an attempt to beat off competition for his signature, with manager Manuel Pellegrini not content with the recent form of his side’s main playmaker David Silva, who has looked fatigued for the last year or so now, and who has not started this season in the most convincing form either. The Chilean had targeted another similar player in youngster Isco from his old club Malaga in the summer, though he ended up joining Real Madrid.
Mata operates in a very similar way to Silva, and the pair will know each other from their time together at Valencia, but Pellegrini would be keen to make the Chelsea man his first choice at the club, providing serious competition to Silva. With City’s main signings so far being Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic – two strikers – the manager is hoping to sign someone to provide his forward players with more ammunition.
Chelsea have so far rejected bids from Mata, but City’s ability to pay big money for their top targets could see them successful in signing the Spanish international, who will be keen to leave Chelsea if they cannot guarantee him first-team football in a World Cup year.
It is not clear how much City will offer for Mata, but they could go as high as £50million if they feel there is some possibility of negotiation with Chelsea, though big-spending PSG can also offer similar amounts, and may be a more tempting prospect for the Blues as they won’t want to sell a key player to a title rival.
City have already been active on deadline day, confirming the signing of centre-back Martin Demichelis from Atletico Madrid.