It’s not likely that Manchester United will go an entire summer transfer window without signing any players, so it’s not that surprising to see them turn to a slightly unsettled Juan Mata, who might not be as important for Chelsea as he’s been in the past for whatever reason.
Be it in a Wayne Rooney deal or not, according to ESPN, Manchester United have made an informal inquiry about Mata’s availability. While Mata might be one of the favorites of Roman Abramovich, Jose Mourinho isn’t that keen on keeping him if it means that it opens up an option for improving his attack, and specifically with Wayne Rooney.
Since the moment Mourinho was announced as Chelsea manager, the rumors around Mata’s suitability with the Portuguese manager began swirling. Based on what? Not quite clear, but it hasn’t left the headlines since, and it seems that Chelsea might not be putting him on sale, but it is possible to buy him for the right price or the right swap.
The late interest from Chelsea in Willian makes it an ever stronger possibility that they might try to offload one of their attacking midfielders, with the place getting a little bit crowded. Mourinho is infatuated with Oscar and Eden Hazard, while Kevin de Bruyne and Andre Schurrle also seem quite solid in their place. Mata? His weak start, including being benched on the opening match only strengthen the notion that Mourinho prefers other players to Chelsea’s best performer over the last two years.
Mata has played in 70 league matches for Chelsea over the last two seasons, scoring 17 goals and adding 30 assists. No one has been more consistent than him on offense, while his creativity bursts come a lot more often than those of Eden Hazard, who had a lot of ups & downs during his first year with the team.
For now, Mata isn’t for sale, and Rooney isn’t for sale either. But as the transfer deadline approaches, we’ll be hearing a lot more about inquiries and possible bids being made, with Mata being a big part of anything happening between Manchester United and Chelsea.