Valencia will make an extraordinary bid to lure Juan Mata back to the Mestalla during the January transfer window, according to The Daily Mail.
Few would have expected the two-time Chelsea Player of the Year to be faced with the prospect of leaving Stamford Bridge barely over five weeks into the new Premier League campaign.
His controversial omission from Jose Mourinho’s first-choice XI this season has left the Spaniard with little choice but to assess his options come the next transfer window.
A queue of clubs are expected to pounce at the opportunity to acquire one of the best playmakers in the world, and Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United and Real Madrid are already reportedly monitoring the player’s stance on his future.
Valencia – a club that has endured crippling debt in recent years – are rumoured to be front-runners for Mata’s signature having tabled a miraculous £25m offer.
The former Valencia star has won just 19 senior caps for the Spain since joining Chelsea in 2011 and warming the bench at Stamford Bridge is certainly not helping his case.
A return to ‘Los Murciélagos’ promises the 25-year-old regular first-team football and a welcome boost to his national team prospects ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Whether or not Mata is content with exchanging Champions League football for the Europa League is contentious at best, but if the issues with Mourinho continue, Roman Abramovich is unlikely to consider selling to a European rival.
The returning Chelsea manager is adamant the attacking midfielder must improve his defensive work ethic before he will be granted a starting role in his side – but for a player blessed with such creative talent, isn’t the opposition half where Mata belongs?
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