Reports say that Juan Mata is on his way to Arsenal. But other reports say Tottenham is going in hard to steal Mata. The sources are coming fast and furious on this one from both sides, with none of the most legitimate sources giving their statement on the move yet. So what to believe?
The price is right on Mata. He has a reasonable buyout clause under £20 million. The captain of the European Championship winning Spanish U-21 side is a fantastic player with tons of potential. With reports that the price being as low as £15 million for the winger, any team would be wise to buy Mata. So what would hold up Tottenham?
Contrary to what certain news sources state, Mata is not a player that fills a need for Tottenham. He plays the one position where Tottenham has its best pair of young players and has depth. Mata is primarily a left winger, with the ability to play the trequartista in the middle. He's top class player, but with glaring needs for Tottenham in the spine of the team, buying him would likely diminish any ability to go after the striker that Redknapp needs.
Mata could be a fit, but only if Redknapp shows a commitment to making Gareth Bale a left back (and Bale is none too unhappy about such a move). With a strong ability to hug the chalk or cut in, Mata might be a guy along with van der Vaart who could do well to benefit from the service of a striker like Peter Crouch.
So does that means reports are lying about Mata? No. What Daniel Levy is doing right now is a smart move business-wise for Tottenham. When your hated rivals are going in for a player, especially one at a value price, Levy should absolutely show some gamesmanship and try to inflate the price on Mata. Harry Redknapp might deny that he's a "Wheeler Dealer", but Daniel Levy has proven wisely to be one through and through.
Throwing your money around in false transfers might infuriate the fanbase, but it also benefits the club. Getting involved in the market, but not overcommitting money to overpriced players might get Tottenham in the papers without a lot of movement, but it also lets you occasionally get a player like van der Vaart for £8 milllion
Moral of the story: any time you read a report about Tottenham getting in a bidding war with Arsenal we don't need, give a tip of your hat to Daniel Levy. A strong effort in gamesmanship and wasting Arsenal's money.