Mata and Fabregas look likely team-mates at Arsenal next season

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Juan Manuel Mata’s representatives have landed in the United Kingdom this morning but Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool will not be meeting with them any time soon.

Comments from the player amidst speculation of a £18m move away from Valencia yesterday have suggested that the 23-year-old Spaniard is only prepared to leave Valencia for either Real Madrid, Barcelona or Arsenal.

As the two Spanish sides aren’t interested, Arsenal are left with a clear run at Mata and a deal could be finalised soon with Arsenal keen on snapping up the exciting winger.

Mata’s father Juan, who also acts as his agent, is negotiating with the Arsenal board and the Gunners fans can be hopeful that the attacking winger will be joining the club.

Many are claiming that the arrival of Mata will signal the end for Cesc Fabregas, but with every passing day a deal for the midfielder looks less and less likely.

Pre-season friendlies aren’t the greatest form guides to go on but anyone who watched Barcelona’s 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena last night could not have helped but have been impressed by Thiago Alcantara.

Alcantara’s early pre-season form coupled with his impressive displays in the U-21 European Championships in June have seen him rewarded with a new five-year contract, and if you though Barcelona didn’t need Fabregas before, they certainly don’t need him now.

This Fabregas saga is now the longest and most boring transfer story in history but Alcantara’s emergence means Barcelona will not be prepared to pay over the odds for Fabregas and with Arsenal expecting a big offer, the deal will not go through.

Which is great news for Arsenal fans who look set to keep both Fabregas and Nasri, and the arrivals of Mata and Gervinho will make the outlook at the Emirates a lot more optimistic.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.