The British tabloids are alight today with rumors of Manchester United placing a club record 37 million pound bid for the Chelsea midfielder. These rumors are aided by the fact that the two-time Chelsea player of the year has been relegated to the bench for most of his team’s matches this season. Mata has only managed to earn 11 Premier League starts so far and he has yet to score for The Blues.
One of many tweets regarding the rumored bid here:
Manchester United prepare to make record £37m bid to sign Juan Mata http://t.co/8S0n6o72gO
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) January 21, 2014
Mata’s lack of minutes has been attributed to the Spaniard not fitting in to Jose Mourinho’s system because of his lack of defensive contribution. It is true that Mata’s primary weakness is his defense but many Chelsea supporters feel that a manager as brilliant as Mourinho can find room in his team for a player of Mata’s quality. On the flip side of that is the belief that if Mata can increase his defensive contribution he will find a place in the side. The results however have been in the manager’s favor as the Blues have been spectacular in defense in recent weeks and they seem to be banging in goals with ease with Mata on the bench. The industrious Willian has taken Mata’s role as the third member of the attacking midfield and his tireless running and defense has been key to Chelsea’s recent success.
It’s no secret that Juan Mata is a very talented player, and it’s also no secret that Manchester United are lacking in world class players at the moment, but the other factors simply do not add up. Chelsea are not usually a selling club and even if they were in the mood to profit off the sale of a player, they would not sell him to a direct domestic rival. Mata is also under contract until the summer of 2016 so there is no rush to cash in before he leaves on a free transfer. His salary is reported to be 90,000 pounds a week, a relatively modest figure for a player considered world class. At this point, most signs appear to suggest that Mata will remain a Chelsea player, a fan favorite, and an integral part of Mourinho’s plans for the foreseeable future.