Chelsea may let Mata join United for €48m

United adamant Rooney will not move to Stamford Bridge as part of any deal

 Chelsea’s Juan Mata could be on his way to Old Trafford

Chelsea’s Juan Mata could be on his way to Old Trafford

Tue, Jan 21, 2014, 21:43

JAMIE JACKSON


Chelsea are prepared to allow Juan Mata to leave for Manchester United this week if the champions submit a club record bid of €48 million for his services, though the Spain international must also indicate to Jose Mourinho that he has his heart set upon a move to Old Trafford.

United have yet to make a formal offer for the 25-year-old, who has found first-team opportunities relatively limited at Stamford Bridge this season, but the London club anticipate that situation changing. A bid of that size for a player who cost €28.5 million from Valencia in 2011 would be considered, though Mourinho would still be given the final say as to whether Mata should be released.

There is an instinctive reluctance at Stamford Bridge to lose their player of the season from each of his two full campaigns at the club, sentiment expressed publicly by Mourinho over recent weeks when the manager has been asked about Mata’s immediate future. Yet the Spaniard has completed 90 minutes only three times this season, starting 11 league games, and, with the World Cup to come in the summer, his frustration on the sidelines has been acknowledged sympathetically.

Other clubs have expressed tentative interest in the forward, most notably Paris Saint-Germain, with Atletico Madrid going as far as to seek to take him on loan for six months with an option to make the move permanent in the summer.

Yet the prospective deal that would be lodged by United would eclipse all-comers with Mata, who would be cup-tied in Europe this term, favourable to the idea, intent as he is to perform regularly for a prestigious club. David Moyes’s side languish 14 points from the Premier League summit and six from the Champions League places, but the club retains its mystique.

The final say
Whereas in the past the Chelsea hierarchy have had the final say on outgoing transfers, the decision now will rest with Mourinho.

The Spaniard, who is contracted until 2016, would not naturally agitate for a transfer but, if he makes clear his desire to move, the club are expected to yield. Mata is due back at Cobham, with the rest of the Chelsea players, today after two days off.

United, who discovered yesterday, that captain Nemanja Vidic will be banned for three games after losing his appeal against the red card he was shown in the recent 3-1 defeat at Chelsea, remain resolute that Wayne Rooney, a player Chelsea have coveted since last summer, will not move to Stamford Bridge as part of any prospective deal for Mata.

United have no chance of signing Brazil defender Dante during this month’s transfer window, according to the player’s agent.

In a bizarre series of events, reports emerged in Brazil claiming Dante had agreed to join United, with the player then going on radio to clarify the situation, effectively stating nothing would be decided until January 31st.

Contract extension
However, Marcus Marin, the 30-year-old’s Germany-based agent, insists the only discussions that have been taking place are with Bayern Munich over an extension to a contract not due to expire until 2016.

And even if was to express an interest, Marin feels it would have to be for the end of the season as a January move is a non-starter.

“There is no way that is going to happen,” he said. “He is not going to leave Bayern in the window.

“At the moment, Bayern are the only people we have spoken to anyway because we are talking over a new contract.”

Moyes has not spoken about Dante, although, given the player is capable of operating in central defence, at left-back or in midfield, the attraction would be obvious.
Guardian Service