Tottenham are off to a hot start with 12 points in the 2013-2014 Premier League season and have outscored their Europa League opponents by a combined score of 11-0 in three games, but that has not slowed speculation that Andre Villas-Boas will attempt to bring on reinforcements following the lucrative departure of Gareth Bale earlier this month.
Spurs have added several notable players in recent months, and the new names linked to the north London club are certainly well recognized. The most prominent potential addition is Juan Mata, who could be moving on from Chelsea due to limited playing time under new boss Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese manager wants Mata to adjust to his style, otherwise the central midfielder can’t expect to be a regular starter. Mata didn’t play against Fulham on Saturday in a Premier League fixture, and was used as a substitute in the Blues’ loss to FC Basel in a Champions League match on Wednesday.
“Juan has to learn to play the way I want to play,” said Mourinho, according to Sky Sports. “He has to be more consistent, has to be more participative when the team loses the ball, and I think it is not his fault. It is just a consequence of the way he played in the last few years.”
The Express and the Telegraph have linked Mata to a possible move to White Hart Lane in January, with Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Napoli, and Juventus also in the mix to add the 25-year-old. Mata, who joined Chelsea in 2011 on a £23.5 million fee from Valencia, reportedly earns £70,000 a week, with his current deal ending in 2016. July reports of a contract extension never materialized, and his recent reduction in playing time may indicate that his future at Stamford Bridge is in jeopardy.
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However, Tottenham may not have strong interest in the high-priced Mata after the £17 million addition of Brazilian playmaker Paulinho in July. The 25-year-old already has two goals in seven matches with Spurs, and scored the last-gasp winner against Cardiff on Sunday.
Perhaps a more suitable and probable addition might be Fabio Coentrao. The Real Madrid left wing-back has been rumored to leave the Bernabeu in recent months, and according to Daily Mail, Villas-Boas has put the Portuguese star high on his January wish list.
Coentrao, 25, had been linked to a move to White Hart Lane during the Bale transfer saga, and in August asked to be transferred from the Spanish titans. He joined Madrid from Benfica on a £25 million deal in 2011, and Spurs reportedly won’t budge off their £17 million offer. Spurs are rather limited at left back, but the versatile Coentrao is also capable of playing more of an offensive role, as well as at defensive midfielder.
Meanwhile, Spurs are expected to add Ciprian Marica, according to recent reports. The former Schalke striker is unattached so he would arrive without a transfer fee. Arsenal and West Ham were considered to be major contenders to sign Marica, but The People reported that Tottenham have the edge in adding the 27-year-old Romanian.