Just days after Valencia President Manuel Llorente confirmed his club were yet to receive a bid for talented forward Juan Mata, reports suggest the 23-year-old is very close on joining Arsenal.
Mata is believed to have a buyout clause of €20m, and it is thought both Arsenal and Spurs are willing to pay that for the Spanish international. Mata started his career as a promising Real Madrid youngster, graduating from the club’s youth academy before joining Valencia in 2007, the club where he made his professional debut.
In his first season at Los Che he earned the club’s Young Player of the Year award – chosen by both fans and players – whilst his understanding with striker David Villa in his second season saw him finish that campaign only second to Barcelona’s Xavi Hernandez in assists.
Over the past couple of seasons, Mata has been an regular fixture in Valencia’s first team, playing an integral role in successive third place finishes. He was also part of Spain’s 2010 World Cup and 2011 European Under-21 Championship winning squads.