Harry Redknapp has revealed Tottenham are ready to take on north London rivals Arsenal in the race to sign Valencia winger Juan Mata.
Mata, 23, has already been strongly linked with Arsenal, but Redknapp hopes Spurs can steal a march on the Gunners after admitting chairman Daniel Levy is trying to do a deal for the Spain Under-21 star.
“The chairman has been dealing with it,” Redknapp said after Spurs’ pre-season friendly win at Brighton on Saturday.
“He is a player we like, obviously, so do Arsenal, so do a few other clubs, but where it’s all at I don’t know.
“He’s a player I went and saw when England played Spain Under-21s and I thought he looked fantastic.
“Whether anything happens I wouldn’t be sure, the chairman is the only person who has been dealing with those transfers.”
Should Tottenham Hotspur land Mata, one would assume Redknapp would plan to play him centrally – as he has been often deployed with Valencia and Spain Under-21s.
However, despite Redknapp’s hopes, reports from Spain indicate Mata will sign for Arsenal for 22m Euros – the prospect of UEFA Champions League football convincing him to move to the Emirates.