Transfer news: Tottenham enquire after Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata - but quickly rule out chance of move

Andre Villas-Boas concedes Chelsea would be unwilling to sell to a rival club

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The Independent Football

Tottenham have enquired about the availability of Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata.

As Andre Villas-Boas admitted publicly for the first time that Gareth Bale was destined for Real Madrid, the Spurs manager opened up about Tottenham's targets, revealing Mata was on the radar.

However, any chance of signing the Spain international has been ruled out, with Villas-Boas conceding that Chelsea will be unwilling to allow their player of the season from last term to join a Premier League rival.

"First, Chelsea wouldn't sell to Tottenham in any way or form, as they think that we are title contenders," said Villas-Boas, who saw main target Willian completed his move to Chelsea today.

"Mata is a great, great player - player of the season last season - very, very important player for Chelsea.

"They're just not going to strengthen another team that, in their opinion, are rivals for the title."

Villas-Boas is well aware of the quality Mata would bring to White Hart Lane, having been the manager that brought him to the Premier League during his short spell at Chelsea.

There is another admirer in north London however, with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger last night talking up the midfielder, although he too admitted any potential deal would be difficult to push through.

Chelsea have insisted there are no plans to sell Mata this summer, but having signed a raft of new players and rumours that Jose Mourinho is not a fan, speculation around a possible move is likely to continue until the the transfer window closes on Monday.