Chelsea to move for Argentine playmaker – end of the line for Juan Mata?

Juan Mata

Jose Mourinho’s men are reportedly lining up a January move for Paris Saint-Germain’s Javier Pastore, which would overload the west London club in attacking midfield.

One would think that the last position that Chelsea need to sign new players is in attacking midfield, with a plethora of options available to Jose Mourinho.

However, a report from French newspaper Le Sport 10 is suggesting that the Blues are monitoring the progress of Javier Pastore at Paris Saint-Germain, and could launch a January bid.

The Argentina international is a mercurial talent, but has been subject to inconsistent form in the French capital since a big-money August 2011 move to Ligue 1 from Palermo.

This season, with the Parc des Princes outfit improving their attacking options over the summer, Pastore has found a place in Laurent Blanc’s starting XI hard to come by, and has only featured in six of PSG’s 13 games from the first whistle.

As such, the French powerhouses are believed to be ready to cut their losses on the South American, who has failed to really settle in Paris.

Chelsea are interested in both Pastore and combative midfielder Blaise Matuidi according to the report, and are eager to complete a double raid in the new year.

A move for Matuidi makes sense, as he is in the last year of his contract and has the combative attributes in the boiler room that could improve Chelsea’s midfield.

Pastore as a target though causes some questions to be asked. Surely, if the talented Argentine playmaker is added to the Chelsea squad it will mean the ostracising of one of the current crop?

PSG are thought to be long-term admirers of Juan Mata, with the Spaniard’s situation at Stamford Bridge up in the air.

A critical player for previous Chelsea managers, Mata has seen his importance at the club diminish since Mourinho’s arrival.

The former Valencia attacking midfielder has only started five of the Blues’ eleven Premier League fixtures this season, and has cut a forlorn figure predominantly on the Chelsea bench.

As such, could a swap deal between Pastore and Mata be on the cards?

Many Blues fans are baffled by Mourinho’s lack of faith in Mata, with the likes of Andre Schurrle and Willian getting the nod ahead of the Spaniard of late.

It seems that Mourinho is eager to make his own mark on the Chelsea squad, and as such this could mean out with the old and in with the new.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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