Reports this morning suggest that Arsenal have begun talks with Valencia’s attacking midfielder Juan Mata.
A club record fee of £18m has been mentioned for one of La Liga’s most exciting talents. Mata began his career at Real Madrid but never made an appearance for their first team before being sold to Valencia. He has firmly established himself as one of their most important players with 10 goals and 11 assists last season.
While Valencia won’t be keen to sell their financial situation is such that any bid will have be considered. The club has estimated debts of £400m, hamstrung in its efforts to move to a new stadium by the global economic crisis and hapless management, and Arsenal could well take advantage.
Mata is the latest in a series of attacking players to be linked with Arsenal this summer, including Gervinho, Ricardo Alvarez, Southampton youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and reports in the Portuguese press this morning say Arsenal have made enquiries about Porto’s pant-splitting forward, Hulk.