Transfer Rumors: Chelsea Close On Special Juan

There’s a little more than a week left in the summer transfer window, and as is the case every summer, there are a few unresolved situations heading into the homestretch. We’ll report the latest developments on those fronts in due time, as there is something new to report with two of the summer’s longest-running remaining transfer sagas. But taking center stage in today’s rundown of the latest transfer rumors is a definite deal, as Chelsea near their second big-money deal in less than a week.

Chelsea Swoop For Mata

You couldn’t really expect Chelsea to have a slow summer, could you?

After signing Belgian wonderkid Romelu Lukaku for £20m last week, Andre Villas-Boas will have another new addition to his attack in the coming days, with Valencia star Juan Mata on the verge of a move to Stamford Bridge.

Yesterday, both Valencia and Chelsea confirmed that a deal has been struck for the 23-year-old attacker, who tweeted that he’s headed to London for his medical. Mata, who was recently linked with Arsenal and Liverpool, helped lead Spain to the U-21 Euro title this summer and notched nine goals and 15 assists in all competitions for Valencia last season.

David Villa and David Silva may have been the headliners for Valencia before they departed for greener pastures last summer, but Mata has every bit the quality to succeed in the Premier League on the same level that Silva has for Manchester City.

PSG’s Berbatov Interest Rebuffed

Despite no longer being assured of a starting place, Dimitar Berbatov looks to be staying at Manchester United. In comments to France Football, PSG sporting director Leonardo revealed that he inquired about Berbatov’s availability, but Sir Alex Ferguson said that the Bulgarian was still in his plans.

Sure, Berbatov isn’t guaranteed to start regularly for United anymore, and he could see a lot more of the bench than the pitch this season if Chicharito picks up where he left off last season and Danny Welbeck takes advantage of the opportunities he’ll be given. But there’s no doubting the quality that he possesses and can display in any given match, and given the issues United had with injuries last season and are already having this season, it’s important to have quality depth, so there’s no reason for United to jettison him yet.

The Latest On Luka

Chelsea look set to fork out almost £30m for Mata, which will take their summer spending to the 60m mark, but there’s a great possibility that their spending spree could extend even further.

Their top summer target, Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric, is still hard up for a move from White Hart Lane to Stamford Bridge, to the point where he’s unsettled himself right out of the lineup for tonight’s visit to Manchester United. I suppose it’s somewhat fitting that Dimitar Berbatov is mentioned in this roundup, as Modric’s current “mental turmoil” is reminiscent of what we saw with Berbatov three summers ago when he was desperate for a United move.

Berbatov got his wish in the end, with United stumping up a club-record £30.75m on deadline day (oh, and Fraizer Campbell on loan, too), but will the same happen for Modric? Recent reports state that Chelsea have now upped their bid for the Croatian international to £30m, which could be enough to get Spurs to budge on a player who clearly doesn’t want to be at the club anymore, though as the Berbatov saga showed, Daniel Levy isn’t one to give in easily, or without forcing the buyer to part with a limb or two. But unless Modric has a change of heart, the odds certainly look to be in favor of this one finally coming to a positive end for all parties sooner rather than later.

The next week-plus is certain to be frenetic, and you can count on us to have it all covered, both with the daily roundup of the latest news and speculation about who’s going where to our compilation of confirmed transfers from all of Europe’s top leagues.

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