In a press conference early this morning at Chelsea’s Cobham Training Centre, manager Jose Mourinho finally confirmed the transfer that has been talked about in all the major sporting news outlets for the past week, Juan Mata is leaving Chelsea and he is heading to Manchester United. The manager confirmed that the club has let Mata leave today to perform his medical at United and that the transfer will be completed sooner rather than later.
“Juan travelled and had a medical at [Manchester] United. Things are going in a good direction so sooner rather than later things will be finalised. I still think he could be important for us – he is a fantastic player. Despite not playing a lot with us, especially in the last period, he could have been important.”
While the deal is not 100% complete at the moment, it does not get much more official than the manager coming out and confirming it at a press conference. As usual, Mourinho was very honest and candid in his press conference and even expressed some regret about letting the Spaniard leave. He also addressed the Wayne Rooney rumors and the Chelsea supporters who did not want Mata to be transferred especially not to a rival club.
“Nobody here is jumping because Juan is leaving. After that, it’s the way you look at things. Would Chelsea supporters be happy if we stop a fantastic person they all like a lot from going and say you can only go if you go to Russia or China or France or Portugal? I don’t know if Chelsea supporters would be happy because we are an open club. We don’t have an old-fashioned way to look at things. But Juan had a fantastic opportunity. Another big club wants him in a country where he loves to be. We had an offer which was the right offer a player of his quality. The player deserves respect and to be happy – to play where he wants. To say you cannot go to United because they refused to sell us Wayne Rooney isn’t fair to Juan. They decide not to sell, their decision.”
In what is sure to be a much quoted press conference, Mourinho also addressed the complaints Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger made about the Mata transfer by dismissing them and saying “Wenger complaining is normal because he always does.” Wenger feels the transfer is “unfair” because Chelsea should not be selling to a direct rival after having already played them twice in the season. The great irony of course is that Wenger has sold plenty of players to direct rivals in recent years but Jose is right, Wenger does complain quite often. Mourinho elaborated further on Wenger and his attitude along with another jibe or two at the Arsenal boss:
“We don’t do the market, we don’t do the rules, we have just to do according to the rules. If Wenger sells [Mesut] Özil to Man United in this moment I would be very happy because he sells a very important player. Normally he should be happy that Chelsea sold a player like Juan Mata, but this is a little bit his nature. When he says this is not fair, I think what is not fair is that his team always has the best days to play [getting more rest in between games].”
So there you have it, Chelsea have sold Juan Mata to Manchester United and both Arsene Wenger, and to a lesser extent Manuel Pellegrini, are unhappy about it. Chelsea supporters worldwide are also unhappy with the move but the general consensus has been that no player is bigger than the club and Mata is no exception. Many would be lying if they said they wished Mata the best at United but the most we can say is that we hope you put up a good fight and score plenty of goals against Manchester City and Arsenal later this season.