Jose Mourinho has explained the reasons behind selling Juan Mata to Manchester United – one of the direct rivals. The Spaniard is today expected to complete his move to Old Trafford for £37 million. He is undergoing a medical before signing what could be a four-and-a-half year deal.
Mata has played a little football this season and it is understood that he was unhappy at Chelsea. Speaking ahead of the FA Cup clash with Stoke City on Sunday, Mourinho said:
“In spite of not playing for us, especially in the last period, he could be a very important player for us but Juan had this fantastic opportunity, another big club wants him, in a country where he loves to be and loves to play.
“It is an offer that is the right offer for us, so in spite of probably many clubs, many boards and many managers who think you shouldn’t sell a top player to a rival club, especially not in the same country you play, we feel and we think differently.
“It’s a good offer. I don’t want to say one more million, one less million, it’s a good offer, respectful to us, respectful to the value of the player that allows us to try to bring in another player, because we need another player.
“I asked him ‘are you really happy to go,’ and he was saying ‘yes, I am really happy to go,’ so after that we have mixed emotions.
“We decided not to stop him, it’s good for Juan, good for the Premier League and the offer, with financial terms for us, is the right offer. Compared to what the club played two years ago it is fantastic.”
Mata has been at Chelsea for the last three seasons. During this period, he made 135 appearances in all competitions. A record of 33 goals and 58 assists from these matches made him one of the top players at the club.
He also leaves after having lifted the FA Cup (2011–12), UEFA Champions League (2011–12), and UEFA Europa League (2012–13). Other individual accolades include being named in the PFA Team of the Year for the 2012–13 season, while he lifted the club’s own Player of the Year award twice.