Chelsea would never sell Mata to Tottenham, says Villas-Boas

Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed his admiration for Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata but feels there is no chance of the Spain international moving to White Hart Lane, Sky Sports has reported, as the Blues would not allow Mata to move to a rival for the Premier League title.

Mata has been continually linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge this summer and was left on the bench during Chelsea’s goalless draw with Manchester United on Monday, which despite Jose Mourinho’s insistence that Mata was not fully fit only increased speculation over the player’s future.

Chelsea’s signing of Willian – from under the noses of Spurs – has added to the gossip as it leaves Chelsea with a large number of creative midfielders, with Mata perhaps the odd one out and bound to leave his current club. Villas-Boas, who signed Mata for Chelsea in 2011, did not say if he believes Mata is available for transfer – only that if he was, Chelsea would not allow him to join Tottenham.

Mata is a great player – player of the season last season, a very important player for Chelsea,” Villas-Boas said. “But Chelsea wouldn’t sell to Tottenham in any way, as they think we are title contenders. They’re just not going to strengthen another team that, in their opinion, are rivals for the title.

Having missed out on Willian – and with Mata apparently a non-starter – Villas-Boas will instead turn to Roma winger Erik Lamela and Ajax creator Christian Eriksen in his attempts to replace the Real Madrid-bound Gareth Bale.

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