Arsenal & United fall behind in Mata race

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Arsenal and Manchester United have fallen down the pecking order in the race to sign Juan Mata, according to the bookmakers at least.

The Chelsea playmaker has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, after appearing to fall out of favour under new manager Jose Mourinho.

However, the Spaniard has impressed in his most recent outings, helping the Blues to a 1-1 draw against Spurs and then a 4-0 victory against Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League.

Bookies have reacted by making Chelsea odds-on to keep the 25-year-old in west London, with The Daily Star reporting that the title challengers are now 2/9 to retain his services beyond January 2014.

Whilst PSG are second favourites, it’s interesting to note that Liverpool are now the leading Premier League clubs in the race for the player, in the eyes of the gambling world at least.

Brendan Rodgers’ side have made a fantastic start to the season, and are challenging at the top of the table on the back of some fine displays from Daniel Sturridge.

Luis Suarez has also made a goalscoring return to the Liverpool side, and Mata would fit well into the manager’s football philosophy if the Merseyside giants were to make a move.

The Reds’ rise up the market have seen more traditional powerhouses – notably Manchester United and Arsenal – fall down in the betting odds.

Both clubs were linked with a move for the player during the summer transfer window, with David Moyes looking to make a marquee signing following his arrival at Old Trafford.

The Scot pursued Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara after taking the Red Devils helm from Sir Alex Ferguson, but only added the services of Marouane Fellaini at the heart of his side.

Mata could have added some creative flair to the Manchester United midfield, but they were unsuccessful in their efforts to land the player.

The same can be said of Arsenal, as manager Arsene Wenger looked to strengthen his side in the closing stages of the window.

However, the Gunners had a major success with the arrival of Mesut Ozil, who has hit the ground running at the Emirates Stadium.

His arrival has meant that Arsenal’s failure to sign Mata has not been felt, and the bookmakers clearly feel that such a deal is no longer a possibility.

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Juan Mata
Premier League
Manchester United

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