Barcelona move step closer to Chelsea playmaker capture
Chelsea transfer news: Barcelona closing in on Juan Mata
Barcelona are pushing ahead with a summer move for Chelsea star Juan Mata, according to reports in Spain.
The hugely influential playmaker is being lined up by the La Liga champions, after reports claimed Jose Mourinho could be willing to sell the Spaniard this summer.
A Sunday Times report nine days ago suggested David Luiz, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata would all be available as Mourinho looks to reshape his Chelsea squad in the coming weeks.
And Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo today carries the headline: "Mata, within range".
The report claims Barcelona are ready to sell Thiago Alcantara or Cristian Tello to raise funds and make room in their squad for the 25-year-old Mata. Despite the capture of Neymar, Barca president Sandro Rosell remains a huge fan of the midfielder.
But the Spain international is a hugely popular member of the Chelsea squad, and his stock could not be higher after a stunning season last term.
Mata scored 21 goals and provided 29 assists in all competitions for the Blues last season, and established himself as one of the Premier League's best attackers.
It is unclear why Mourinho would be willing to listen to offers for a player many consider to be the team's best player, but Barcelona are reportedly confident of luring him back to Spain.
Mata came through the youth ranks at Real Madrid before making his name in La Liga with Valencia.
Earlier this week the Chelsea midfielder insisted he has not been informed by Mourinho that he is surplus to requirements, and confirmed he is very happy at Stamford Bridge.