Two summers ago Arsenal seemed to be on the verge of signing Juan Mata from Valencia, with the club lodging a bid early in the summer and the player keen to make the move to the Emirates.
However suddenly the move turned sour, with reports that Arsenal had baulked at Mata’s £23.5million transfer fee, an amount that Chelsea were all too happy to pay later that summer. Since then, Mata has gone on to become one of the best players in the Premier League at Chelsea, being shortlisted for the Player of the Year this season.
Arsenal fans would have hoped their club would have learned a painful lesson from that episode, and with Monaco adding to the legion of clubs in Europe prepared to spend fanciful sums on players, Arsene Wenger must know that if his team are not going to spend the money on a star player, someone else will.
However they could be making the same mistakes this summer with their move for Stevan Jovetic, with recent reports suggesting that Arsenal are refusing to pay the £25million fee Fiorentina are asking for the striker.
Negotiation is clearly part and parcel of any transfer, but if Arsenal stall too long, they might give an opportunity for another London team to enter the bidding, a team who are desperately seeking a new striker this summer.
Chelsea have already seen Radamel Falcao go to Monaco, and could miss out on Robert Lewandowski and Edinson Cavani too. IF they are now looking for new targets, Jovetic will likely be near the top of the list, and there is already speculation they are preparing a bid for a player they have been linked with several times in the past.
If Chelsea see a chance to usurp Arsenal in the race for the player, there is every chance they will take it, and spending £25million is something they have shown themselves prepared to do on several occasions. If Arsenal do not want to end up with another Mata situation, they might have to accept that the transfer market allows very little room for haggling when chasing the top players, and spend the £25million on Jovetic.
image: © carca