Chelsea FC Transfer Rumours: Winger In The Frame For Blues

VALENCIA, SPAIN - AUGUST 12: Juan Mata of Valencia looks on before the start of the Orange Trophy match between Valencia and Roma at Estadio Mestalla on August 12, 2011 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

It's nice to have a non-Luka Modric transfer saga to look at, and this one actually makes a great deal of sense for Andre Villas-Boas and Chelsea. According to pretty much every source in the universe (but specifically the Guardian, since it's what I have open), the Blues are now in pole position to acquire 23-year-old winger Juan Mata from Valencia. The La Liga club are apparently looking for €30M for their star man's services.

This would be pretty good news for a number of reasons, not least because the match against Stoke City made it abundantly clear that Chelsea still have a problem with width in the side. Despite concerns about how his size (Mata is tiny) would fare in the Premier League, nobody's denying that he's a lovely winger, and his talent means that he really could be an answer to the club's issues on the left.

Of course, the price is pretty annoying - if Chelsea really wanted him they could have signed him up for €25M all of 17 days ago, which is when his buyout clause expired, so not going after him then was essentially tantamount to simply throwing money away. That's actually a reason to be skeptical about this rumour, actually. Why would the club be moving now that Mata is more expensive? Have they only just realised that Florent Malodua and Salomon Kalou aren't really working that well?

Anyway, as wide players go, I'd rather have Eden Hazard, who is both younger and more expensive, but I certainly wouldn't turn Mata at £25M down with the issues Chelsea have out wide. What think y'all?

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