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The Tottenham boss says the Blues will not sanction a sale to "rivals for the title", with the west London coach insisting Willian's arrival will not see the Spaniard leave

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas insists Chelsea would never sell Juan Mata to Spurs or Arsenal as they deem them rivals for the Premier League title.

The London pair have been linked with a move for the Blues' Player of the Year of last season after being afforded reduced minutes in Chelsea's opening three Premier League matches.

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However, Villas-Boas cannot see Chelsea sanctioning the sale of Mata to, what the west London regarded as, a rival to the title.

"First, Chelsea wouldn't sell to Tottenham in any way or form, as they think that we are title contenders," Villas-Boas, who only just saw transfer target Willian snatched from his grasp by Jose Mourinho's side, told reporters.

"Mata is a great, great player - player of the season last season - very, very important player for Chelsea.

"They're just not going to strengthen another team that, in their opinion, are rivals for the title."

Tottenham are expected to seal the signing of Roma winger Erik Lamela for a club-record fee over the coming days, with Gareth Bale edging closer to a move to Real Madrid.

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