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Jan 3, 2014

Napoli 'keen to sign Chelsea's Mata'

FC's Gab Marcotti tells us why Juan Mata may be struggling for playing time with club and country.

Napoli are believed to have made inquiries about the availability of Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata.

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The development comes after sources told ESPN FC the Blues would not consider selling the Spain international playmaker to a domestic rival.

Both the Sun and the Mirror reported that Rafa Benitez, who managed Mata at Chelsea last season, wants to bring him to Napoli.

Subsequently, the Telegraph said Chelsea had tabled a 50 million pound bid for Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain -- and seen it rejected -- fuelling speculation that a swap deal involving Mata could be under negotiation. Higuain has since reaffirmed his commitment to Napoli, the club he joined six months ago.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has made it clear that he does not expect Mata to leave in the January transfer window, but said his "door is open" if the 25-year-old wants to talk about his future.

Napoli's Serie A rivals Juventus and French champions Paris Saint-Germain are also believed to be tracking Mata, but it is thought he is not keen to leave this month.

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