Mata mystified by Chelsea exit talk
Juan Mata says he does not know where speculation that Chelsea want to sell him has come from, and insists he is looking forward to returning to London and getting to know his new Blues manager Jose Mourinho.
Mata, 25, contributed 19 goals and 35 assists for the Premier League side during the 2012-13 season, winning his second Chelsea Player of the Year award in two seasons at Stamford Bridge.
Nonetheless, apparently well-sourced stories that the Spain international will be put up for sale emerged soon after it was confirmed that Mourinho was returning to the club in early June.
Speaking from Spain’s Confederations Cup base in Brazil, Mata told AS that he did not know where these rumours had come from, and that he expected Mourinho to make decisions about who to keep and who to sell after first getting to know all his players.
“I do not know,” Mata said. “Mourinho will want to see everyone and make his judgements. From the club, the last time I spoke with them, they communicated confidence and told me that I was a very important player.”
Asked by Spanish journalists - well aware of Mourinho's damaged reputation in their country - about how he expected to find life working under the Portuguese coach, Mata said he would wait until he got to know his new boss before making any judgement.
“At the moment I am focused here, in winning the tournament,” he said. “To judge people you have to know them. After the holidays and a rest I will meet the new boss and I am sure things will go well.”
Mata is a graduate of Real Madrid’s Fabrica youth system, but left the club aged just 19, before coming to senior prominence at Valencia.
The playmaker said he remains close to friends he made at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, but for the moment is too happy in London to consider a return to Spain.
“About Real Madrid I have only good words,” he said. “I spent four years there growing as a player and as a person. I have many friends there and I stay in touch with people. But I have spent two good years in London, so the only thing I am thinking about is to keep enjoying this league and this city which I love.”