Arsene Wenger is to find a world class recruit for his midfield, it surely will not be Juan Mata.

The Spaniard – who had been strongly linked with a move to the Emirates for most of this summer – is now virtually a Chelsea player after Valencia agreed a deal with Arsenal’s London rivals.

It is suggested the Gunners had an insufficient bid for Mata rejected a couple of months ago but Roman Abramovich’s offer of £23.5m has been enough to settle matters nonetheless – ending any hopes of Arsenal making a U-turn to sign the bright 23-year-old after their desperate look against Liverpool yesterday.

This is the second time this summer that Chelsea have landed a long-time Arsenal target after the signing of Romelu Lukaku recently.

Therefore Wenger will now have to continue doing business in France with Lille – where he secured Gervinho – if he is to clinch the services of another much-coveted midfielder in Eden Hazard.

And despite reports earlier in the weekend that Samir Nasri’s move to Manchester City might have stalled, Blues’ boss Roberto Mancini claimed – following their 3-2 win at Bolton – that the Frenchman is ‘days away’ from completing his switch to Eastlands.

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