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The Gunners are set to break their transfer record for the European Under-21 championship standout in a bid to soften the blow of the seemingly inevitable loss of Cesc Fabregas

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is eyeing a move for Valencia winger Juan Mata, and could be prepared to break the club transfer record with an £18 million bid to land the star of Spain's succesful European Under-21 squad.

The 23-year-old had put discussions about his future on hold until the conclusion of the tournament in Denmark, but Arsenal officials have now approached his agent and father, Juan Mata Snr, according to the Daily Mail.

Mata has spent the majority of his career at Valencia, having been signed from fellow La Liga side Real Madrid in 2007.

He can play as a winger or a central midfielder, and has scored 56 times in 211 appearances in his time in Spain. It is this which looks like tempting Wenger into opening the chequebook and smashing the club's transfer record, which stands at £13m for Russian midfielder Andrey Arshavin.

Goal.com exlusively revealed last week that Mata is interested in a possible move to Liverpool, with Manchester City also registering their intention to take him to the Premier League.
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