Chelsea have stolen the march on Arsenal and launched a £20 million bid for Valencia winger Juan Mata, according to the Daily Mirror.
Mata has starred in La Liga since signing for the club in 2007, and has drawn the attention of numerous European clubs over the summer.
Arsenal in particular have been reportedly chasing the star, though the Gunners are yet to put an official bid to the Spanish club.
And Chelsea have taken full advantage of this, with Andre Villas-Boas said to have put Mata, along with Luka Modric, at the top of his transfer wishlist.
Both Chelsea and Arsenal can offer Mata Champions League football, and a run for the title, and so it remains to be seen which club the Spaniard would prefer.
While Chelsea would normally be favoured to land Mata, with the club much more willing to spend big than Arsenal, Arsene Wenger shouldn’t be counted out of the race just yet, with the Gunners manager insisting yesterday that he would spend up to £40 million to land the right player.
"I will pay 30 [million] - I will even pay 40 if I find the right players,” Wenger said.
"But it's not a question of money, it's a question of quality we find.
"I think I have a wrong reputation of not wanting to spend money - I do not want to spend money for average players."
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