There are now a handful of days before the transfer deadline and Juan Mata’s future remains unresolved. Despite being arguably the most consistent and professional attacking midfielder in the Premier League last term – bar Gareth Bale – Mata appears on his way out of Chelsea as boss, Jose Mourinho, reforms the squad under new leadership.
The Spaniard has been tipped on Betfair to leave all summer yet with Chelsea remaining silent over their plans for his services, nothing has come from persistent discussions in the online gambling news.
Numerous clubs have been linked but no concrete offers placed and all the while Mourinho has brought in three new attacking midfielders. Where Willian, Andre Schurrle, and Marco van Ginkel are going to play alongside Mata, Eden Hazard, Oscar and the advancing Ramires, no one quite knows and Mourinho appeared to find the perfect solution on Monday night at Old Trafford: don’t play a striker.
Clearly, Chelsea cannot do that all season and they need to lose a midfielder or two. Mata is the only one that fits the ‘sacrificial lamb’ mould. Where he would go is another question, for while Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger, has expressed an interest, Spurs manager, Andre Villas-Boas, has not. That could be a double bluff by Tottenham, who are notoriously shrewd in the transfer market, yet Betfair pundits suggest that Chelsea are unlikely to sell to a Premier League rival and so Mata’s future appears to lie outside of England.
It’s unfortunate such a talent could leave these shores purely because the manager wants to buy his own players yet that is the sad reality of football. Fans should read Mourinho’s comments in The Sun that there is “no chance” of Mata leaving with some scepticism.
Mourinho could have said this weeks ago yet waited until the close of the transfer window to make his stance heard. Evidently, Mata was on the market earlier this summer but no one wanted to pay such a high price price, hoping – as it will – that his value drops a day or two before the deadline as Chelsea get desperate to sell.