Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has made Juan Mata one of his targets for the January transfer window, according to Portuguese newspaper A Bola.
Mata has experienced an indifferent start to the season whilst under Jose Mourinho and has been consistently left out of the first-team lineup, prompting speculation over his future.
And with his long-term suitability at Stamford Bridge being questioned there have been a number of top European sides showing an interest in the Spain playmaker.
But it looks as though it's Atletico who have pushed themselves into pole position in the race for Mata, with Simeone reportedly prepared to make him the no.1 target for the winter transfer window.
They will most likely face competition from both Serie A giants Juventus and French champions Paris Saint-Germain- the latter of whom are rumoured to be preparing a deal worth €48million- but the allure of the La Liga outfit will have been significantly increased due to their fantastic start to the season.