Jose Mourinho has confirmed he will not consider selling Juan Mata to a rival club, amidst reports of interest from Manchester United.
The Spanish international was instrumental for Chelsea last season, as they secured a top-four Premier League finish and won the UEFA Europa League. However, he has been marginalised since Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge, with the Portuguese coach selecting the talented playmaker to start just 11 times in the league.
The latest of these came in the 3-0 win at Southampton on New Year’s Day, a match in which all the goals were scored when Mata was replaced with Oscar before the hour mark. When he was substituted the former Valencia ace didn’t shake hands with his manager, and threw his arms up in frustration before being calmed by Michael Essien.
Mourinho then said in his post-match interview that if the 25-year-old midfielder wanted to leave the capital club this month, the door is open for him. And although he has since gone on to insist he hopes the player will stay put, this hasn’t stopped speculation of a transfer, with Paris St Germain and United said to be keen admirers of his talent.
The Reds were heavily linked with Mata during the summer transfer window, yet when asked if Mourinho would consider selling his player to a Premier League rival should a fresh bid arrive, he said: “No, I keep saying that I want him to stay. There are no offers.”
Mata remains under contract at Chelsea until 2016, and his age would suggest his best years are yet to come. For that reason it wouldn’t make sense for Mourinho to even consider letting him join United, unless his counterpart, David Moyes, was willing to include long-term Blues target Wayne Rooney as part of the deal.