The rumors about Manchester United making a move for Juan Mata have been circulating since summer, but it seems like there’s a very good chance that the struggling Premier League champions and Chelsea are getting very close to a deal on a transfer.
According to the Telegraph, not a media outlet that usually makes up things, Manchester United will pay £37 million for the Spanish star, who is extremely worried that his lack of playing time at Chelsea recently will cost him a spot with the Spain squad to the World Cup.
David Moyes said that there will be no new signings in January. So he said… so what? The interesting thing about this transfer is that Mata might be arriving on a position Manchester United don’t really need filling. Mata usually plays at his best behind the striker, which is a role that’s filled by Wayne Rooney on most days. Shinji Kagawa and Adnan Januzaj are also capable of filling that slot.
However, this might be about more than positional needs; it might be about Manchester United simply signing the best player available, and demonstrating they can still pull some of the best players in the world, although Mata has seen his star and shine fade a little bit this season.
Mata, two-time player of the year for Chelsea, has played only 13 times for Chelsea this season in the Premier League, and featured only twice in a match out of the last six for Chelsea, remaining on the bench in the four times he didn’t start. He has played in the Champions League twice at the start of the competition but was benched the rest of the way; it still means he won’t be able to play for Manchester United, no matter how far they go in the competition.
After the 3-1 Chelsea win at Stamford Bridge, Roman Abramovich was seen shaking hands with Alex Ferguson in the stands. Was this just a friendly shake, or something more, that had to do with business?