Jose Mourinho made his return to Chelsea about a month ago, but the Special One is already creating huge rumblings at Stamford Bridge that could benefit his old La Liga rival Barcelona.
Mourinho apparently nixed a scheduled pay increase for star midfielder Juan Mata, and that has rebooted the Catalans' interest in the player responsible for 12 goals and 29 assists in all competitions last season, according to the Daily Mirror.
The Mirror points out that Barcelona pursued the Blues leader two years ago, but later abandoned those efforts and signed Alexis Sanchez instead. Tito Vilanova’s side has reportedly reached out to Mata’s father and his agent to lure the Spanish native back home.
The Blues have denied there is any sort of divide between Mourinho and Mata, and pointed to the three years left on the contract he penned in 2011.
Reportedly willing to offer as much as £30 million, Barcelona will have to come up with funds after the £40 million deal given to Brazilian sensation Neymar.
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Some of those funds could come from the sale of striker David Villa to Tottenham. The 31-year-old World Cup hero could fetch as much as £10 million, but Spurs could be concerned with his contract expiring after next year’s campaign.
Barcelona could also shore up funds by shipping talented but frustrated midfielder Thiago Alcantara to Manchester United, according to The Sun. Since 2008, the 22-year-old has been largely relegated to Barcelona’s B-team.
Newly dubbed United manager David Moyes has long admired Alcantara, but new his old club Everton couldn’t afford the Spanish player’s expensive fee. The Red Devils hope an offer of £15 million is enough to fend off also-interested Manchester City.
The Catalans do have other targets other than top Spain’s top players, with Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny their latest attempt to land a center back, as reported by Marca. The French national played through several injuries during the Gunners latest campaign, and with his durability possibly in question, Barcelona are aiming for a £9.5 million fee.