Juan Mata
Juan Mata is a target for big spending Tottenham. [Reuters]

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is planning a bold move for Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata in the January transfer window, according to reports in Portugal.

The Spanish playmaker was heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge over the course of the summer, with speculation only increasing when he was left out of Chelsea's trip to Manchester United earlier this season.

Mata has started just two Premier League games this season and is yet to make it past 65 minutes as question marks persist over whether Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will consider him a regular starter.

Tottenham demonstrated their desire to be considered one of the top clubs in the Premier League this season as they spent more than £100m during the summer to sign seven new players.

Despite losing Gareth Bale, Villas-Boas has seemingly improved the squad with Paulinho, Roberto Soldado and Christian Eriksen particularly impressing in the early stages of the season.

Now Portuguese newspaper Record is reporting that the Spurs boss wants to make an offer for Mata in the January transfer window to test Chelsea's resolve.

Mourinho has stated that Mata has a major role to play this season but Villas-Boas will no doubt hope that his strong relationship with the Chelsea boss may go some way to helping him strike a deal.

However, there will be stiff competition for the former Valencia midfielder with reports suggesting that Italian giants Juventus and Napoli are both keen to make an offer in January.

Juventus have been the dominant force in Italy in recent seasons but they are set for a stiff challenge this season from free-spending Napoli who have started the season in superb fashion by winning all three of their league fixtures.

It is likely that much will depend on Mata who may well decide that he needs to leave Chelsea if he is failing to gain regular first team football in the first half of the season.

Any club hoping to sign the mercurial midfielder would certainly have to break the bank in order to secure his services as he has proven to be one of the top talents in the Premier League since joining the Blues in the summer of 2011.