Tottenham Hotspur will reportedly face competition from Italian giants Napoli and Juventus, if they decide to make an approach for Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata in January.
The 25-year-old, who was chosen the Blues' best player in the last two seasons, has clearly fallen down the pecking order this term, with new manager Jose Mourinho preferring the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian and Andre Schurrle ahead of the Spain international, for the three attacking midfield spots behind the lone striker.
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, who signed Mata from Valenica two years ago while he was at Chelsea, still remain an ardent admirer of the playmaker and was strongly linked with a move during the summer, though Chelsea refused to sell at the time. The Portuguese tactician is expected to continue his pursuit of Mata in January but, according to the Express, the Serie A duo will rival now Tottenham in their efforts.
Napoli have strengthened considerably this summer, as they attempt to challenge Juventus for the Scudetto. However, manager Rafa Benitez wants to make more additions during mid-season and is understood to be keen on a reunion with his compatriot Mata, whom he worked at Chelsea during the second half of last season.
Defending champions Juventus, who are currently fifth in the Serie A table, are also hoping to reshuffle their squad during the January window and Mata seems to have now emerged as one of the top targets for them.
Spurs, on the other hand, already have Christian Eriksen, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lewis Holtby competing for the playmaker role. However, with the latter struggling for form of late and Sigurdsson now being moved to a wide role, Mata could still have a massive role at White Hart Lane and also be a crucial addition in their pursuit of a top four spots.
Tottenham will host Mata and Chelsea at the Lane in the London derby on 28 September.