North London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal are set to do battle once more, this time over the signing of Spanish starlet Juan Mata. The talented Valencia attacker has been coveted by the Gunners all summer who at one stage looked set to battle it out with Liverpool over his services. However with the Merseyside club’s purchase of Stewart Downing, it looked like Arsenal would have a clear run at signing Mata. But reports from The Daily Mail today suggest that Spurs are now looking to swoop and sign the player from under their rival’s nose.
Valencia’s club president Manuel Llorente has consistently repeated that his star man is not for sale, again as recently as yesterday, but The Daily Mail insists that both Arsenal and now Tottenham, have met the players buy-out clause thought to be in the region of £17.5 million. Mata’s father, who is also his agent, is said to be mulling over both offers.
Both clubs see Mata, who was Valencia’s most influential player last season, as the ideal replacement for their most creative players, Cesc Fabregas and Luka Modric, who both want out of their respective clubs this summer.