PRAGUE -- Jose Mourinho has attempted to draw a line under speculation linking Juan Mata with a move away from Chelsea, insisting he wants the playmaker to remain at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho’s reluctance to play Mata in Chelsea’s first three games of the season -- he was an unused substitute against Hull and Manchester United, and played just 65 minutes against Aston Villa -- had led to suggestions that the Spain international could be moved on by his boss.
United and Arsenal, whose manager Arsene Wenger said this week that Mata is a player he admires, have been linked with a move for the Blues No. 10. However, Mourinho is adamant the player will be staying put.
“This is now a tendency that everybody speaks and asks about players who don’t play,” Mourinho told a press conference ahead of Chelsea’s UEFA Super Cup clash with Bayern Munich. “He didn’t play against Manchester United, that was my option.
“I always have reasons for my options. I feel it is my duty to explain to the players my options, I don’t think it’s my duty to explain to the media.
“Everything is clear between me and the player, we have no problems. He is a very important player for us. He wants to stay, I want him to stay. So there is no story. We don’t only have a lot of players who can play in the position behind the striker. There are a lot of players who can play wide. You go to every big team and there are many options, people competing for positions.”
Having already sealed the transfer of Willian earlier this week, Chelsea also confirmed the signing of Samuel Eto’o on Thursday.
The Cameroon star’s arrival appears to signal the end of the club’s pursuit of Wayne Rooney, with Mourinho suggesting as much.
“On Rooney, we have nothing more to say,” Mourinho said. “He’s a Manchester United player and there’s no more than that.”