Chelsea are due to present summer signings Romelu Lukaku and Oriol Romeu to the press on Tuesday and are confident of adding a star name alongside them. Negotiations are close to being finalised over the £23m transfer of Juan Mata from Valencia with the club hopeful of unveiling the young Spaniard at the same time as the two other youthful additions.
The West London outfit are crying out for some width and extra guile in attacking positions and Mata is seen as the answer. Capable of playing wide or as a support striker, his versatility should prove invaluable to the Blues and it is also hoped that he will strike up an instant rapport with international team mate, Fernando Torres. Having been courted by both Tottenham and Arsenal this summer, Chelsea will be pleased to have not only secure the signing of a quality operator but also to have denied two of their crosstown rivals of a player of genuine talent.
Manager Andre Villas-Boas has had to face accusations of his squad being too old but the three players he has already brought into the club, as well the imminent arrival of 23-year-old Mata, shows that he is addressing that particular issue. Lukaku may already be a senior international goalscorer yet he is still only 18. Romeu is just a year older with Thibaut Courtois – the goalkeeper signed and immediately loaned to Atletico Madrid for two years – the same age.
While those three might still be a work in progress, Mata is more of the finished article with Villas-Boas saying:
“He’s a good player, a very good player. His curriculum speaks for itself. He’s a player who scores and assists and he can add to any squad in the world.”