Mata entourage fly in to discuss Arsenal move
Published 23:01 27/07/11 By John Cross
Arsenal were last night closing in on a £15million deal for Juan Mata – paving the way for Cesc Fabregas to go to Barcelona.
Fabregas will not be involved in this weekend’s Emirates Cup, a clear sign that the Gunners are becoming resigned to losing him.
But that blow is likely to be softened by the signing of Valencia’s exciting winger Mata – as predicted by the Mirror last month .
The Spanish star’s family and representatives flew into London yesterday for talks.
Versatile Mata, 23, can play wide or as an attacking midfielder and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the deal will be a major boost for his squad.
He is still hoping French midfielder Samir Nasri – a target for Manchester United and Manchester City, with just one year left on his current contract – will sign a new five-year deal.
Fabregas has made it clear that he wants to join Barca, although the European champions have yet to meet Arsenal’s £40m asking price.
That has left the Gunners’ skipper, who has missed all of Arsenal’s pre-season games with a hamstring injury, working on his own at the training ground.
Barcelona made an initial bid of £27m and followed that up with two more conversations.
But, despite promising a deal will be done by this weekend, they still haven’t come back with an increased offer.