Although Florent Malouda scored a vital goal was Chelsea struggled to victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, the need for a creative, quick winger was more evident than ever against Roy Hodgson's Baggies. Fortunately, it seems certain that reinforcements are on the way, in the form of one Juan Mata. Marca are now reporting that Valencia have confirmed the little winger's impending move to Stamford Bridge, with Mata set to sign a five year, ~£55,000 per week contract.
El acuerdo entre el club inglés y el jugador está cerrado por cinco temporadas y con un sueldo superior a los tres millones de euros por campaña. El jugador es una petición expresa de Villas Boas, nuevo técnico Blue, y llevará el número 10 en la Premier a la espalda. Con el Valencia la cosa está hecha y sólo falta aclarar algunos conceptos de pago para firmar en breve el acuerdo.
A little bit of Google translating and common sense and we get...
Mata and Chelsea have already come to an agreement over personal terms, with the player receiving a five-year contract worth over €3M per season. Villas-Boas made a personal request for the transfer, and Mata will be wearing #10 in the Premier League. For Valencia, the transfer is done, with only some questions about the nature of payments left to resolve.
That is a lot of interesting stuff packed into one paragraph. First of all, it looks like all that's keeping this move being 100% signed and sealed is Chelsea and Valencia having yet to agree how much of the reported €27Mish fee will be paid upfront (that sort of thing is only an issue if you are Corinthians and your money is wholly imaginary), so one imagines that Mata will be announced officially within the week.
Secondly, he's on a cheap deal - if we consider his contract in his transfer fee, he'll end up costing around 7.5M per season, significantly cheaper than, say, Samir Nasri or Ashley Young, despite the high fee paid to Valencia. When you consider his considerable resale value at the end of his contract, it's hard to see this as anything but a good deal for the Blues. A little over €3M translates to something in the area of £55,000 per week, incidentally.
Finally, we have his proposed number: 10. I'd forgive you if you didn't notice that #10 wasn't already taken at Stamford Bridge, because Yossi Benayoun hasn't really appeared in it very often over the course of his Chelsea career. Still, it is taken, and so something interesting will have to happen with Benayoun if this report is accurate. Will he take a new number, or are those rumours of the Israeli serving as a make-weight in a Luka Modric deal more substantial than previously thought?
Either way, it's poised to be an interesting week for Chelsea in the transfer market. I'll sign off with a comment from Andre Villas-Boas:
[Juan Mata] is a player who scores and assists and he can add to any squad in the world. He's not our player but he's an interesting player...a very good player.
Fun times ahead, I'd say...