Juan Mata “does not work hard enough” to play for Chelsea according to boss Jose Mourinho and Tottenham look fantastic value at 10/1 to sign the Spanish international in January.
Chelsea’s player of the year for the past two seasons was left out of the 18-man squad for the 2-0 victory over Fulham as Mourinho made it clear that Oscar, who has scored three goals this season, currently is the man to play in the creative role for the Blues.
Mata, who played 64 games last season, scoring 20 goals, has featured just three times this season, only two of them starts, and is yet to complete a full 90 minutes.
Mourinho has been very public with his criticism of the fan’s favourite, citing his work rate when Chelsea are defending as the main reason why he has been overlooked.
Mata’s future at Stamford Bridge now looks in doubt (he’s shortened from 1/4 to 2/5 to stay at Chelsea in January) which may trigger another effort from Spurs to win his signature.
Sources close to Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas have suggested that the former Chelsea gaffer has plans to build his new look Spurs side around the talents of Mata.
Villas-Boas purchased the Spanish sensation for the west Londoners in 2011 but failed to land him this summer after going on a spending spree with the £80m received for Gareth Bale’s transfer to Real Madrid.
Christian Eriksen, who starred in Spurs’ 2-0 win over Norwich City last week, Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli have all bulked up Tottenham’s attacking armoury but the lure of being able to sign a creative magician such as Mata will be hard for Villas-Boas not to pursue.
If Chelsea are to sell, Spurs will have competition from across Europe.
Paris St Germain (5/1), Juventus (10/1) and even Barcelona (16/1) all would seriously consider a move for Mata, who wants to play regularly in order to make Spain’s squad for the World Cup in Brazil.