At last night’s second leg qualification game for entry to the Champions’ League group stages, Juan Mata’s agent was present at the Emirates, after being invited to a Director’s box for the game of Arsenal vs. Fenerbahce. Speculation quickly fuelled when the story broke out and so the media stories today are reporting of Wenger’s plot for Mata.
Arsenal has held an interest in Mata for a few years and were very close to signing him at one point. We had the fee agreed and advanced talks were supposedly taking place, only for London rivals Chelsea to swoop in and do the deal under our noses. It was a big disappointment because even when he was at Valencia in Spain he was a top class player and since coming to Chelsea he has done nothing but improve.
After two dazzling seasons with Chelsea in which he has arguably become their main player, suddenly this season with the return of Jose Mourinho to the Bridge, Mata has been frozen out because he does not fit Mourinho’s style of play. As a result, suggestions have been flying around that Mata is looking for a move away and although Chelsea aren’t keen to sell their playmaker, it’s a sale that I think could potentially happen in the next few days.
Whether or not that sale will be to Arsenal remains to be seen, but when Wenger was asked about the agent being present at the game, he replied with his usual cheeky but hinting smile whilst stating that he simply didn’t know. I reckon there’s something building here, however we also most remember that an agent represents several players not just Mata aside, he also represents the likes of Messi, Aguero and a whole host of REAL MADRID players! I am of course not suggesting we are in for Messi, but the interesting fact is the Real Madrid players and it’s quite possible that Wenger and the agent were in talks and then as the game was on that evening, the agent was invited along. Seems very plausible to me!
If it is in fact Juan Mata we are dealing with then of course it will not be a disappointment. He is a fantastic player and would be a great addition to any team. We cannot say Chelsea won’t sell to us because Mourinho has made it very clear he has no problem with selling to rivals however I’m sure it will take a huge bid from Arsenal to obtain Mata from Chelsea. I suppose all we can do is hope.