Jose Mourinho continues to insist Juan Mata is not for sale.
The Chelsea playmaker was one of the standout performers in the Premier League last season, scoring 11 goals and assisting in 12 more. Yet the appointment of Mourinho earlier this summer has resulted in uncertainty surrounding the future of the Spaniard, with reports suggesting the Portuguese coach doesn’t feel him an integral part of his plans.
Mata wasn’t involved in the opening day win against Hull City at Stamford Bridge, and although he started the 2-1 win against Aston Villa three days later, he was again an unused substitute in the goalless draw at Manchester United on Bank Holiday Monday. Such a tight game, you feel, would have been perfect for the former Valencia schemer, who chipped in with vital goals and key contributions in such situations last term.
There have been widespread rumours for much of the summer that the Blues pursuit of Wayne Rooney could involve Mata heading to Manchester in exchange, although this has been flatly denied by Mourinho. More recently, Tottenham Hotspur have been credited with an interest, as they look to compensate for the likely loss of Gareth Bale.
However, Mourinho, speaking after the drab stalemate which ensured his side remain unbeaten in their three opening Premier League matches, continued his stance that Mata is still a key player for him: “He is very important for me and very important for Chelsea. The stories that are coming out are nonsense stories. He goes nowhere.”
How Mourinho plans to accommodate the likes of Mata, Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Andre Schurrle remains to be seen, and has been further complicated by the pending arrival of Willian, the Brazilian international. Of course, it’s a long season and all can expect to figure, but keeping them all happy could be difficult, especially in a World Cup year.