All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge including the transfer of Juan Mata to Manchester United and a reaction to Arsenal manager's comments.
The transfer to Juan Mata to Manchester United from Chelsea for £37m is a foregone conclusion. All that awaits to confirm the deal is a club announcement, yet Jose Mourinho has already begun talking about the Spaniard in the past tense.
While Mourinho offered Mata little pitch-time compared to what he had received prior to the Portuguese's incumbency, Jose underlined the importance of the contributions the playmaker made during his spell at Stamford Bridge.
'I think that Juan was fantastic,' Mourinho is quoted to have said by Four Four Two. 'He gave everything, but at this point the team is doing very well, with Eden Hazard and Oscar playing well. One day, if he comes back to Chelsea in a Manchester United shirt then the stadium will show him how much they respect him and want him."
He added: 'We are convinced that he is going to do well. Manchester United pay a record fee because they know he is a player that can be important for them, it is not a gamble. The important thing is if he really goes, he was fantastic for Chelsea and Chelsea was fantastic for him. We are not afraid he is going there to do very well. We want him to go there and be happy.'
'We are convinced he is going to do well and we wish that. When we play him we will try and win and he will be the same, but everyone in this club wishes him well.'
Meanwhile, responding to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's public note over the timing of the switch… that United do not have to play Chelsea for the rest of the season, while Mata could well feature for his new club against both the Gunners and Manchester City, was a tactical transfer, according to the Frenchman.
'Wenger complaining is normal, because he always does,' Jose said in his riposte. 'Normally he would be happy Chelsea have sold Mata.'
He then mentioned what he believes is really unfair, and it is a statement that may well provoke a reaction from Wenger himself, so that the two managers end up engaging in quote-tennis: 'This week, who plays Friday [Arsenal], who plays Sunday [Chelsea]? This is not fair. They always get the right time to rest, the right time to play.'
Meanwhile, Brazil striker Hulk was spotted in London, leading to rumours Chelsea could be one of three teams he may or may not speaking to. And, in this article, Here Is The City analyse the statistics he has returned against those he would be competing against in the Premier League, such as Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Loic Remy, Jay Rodriguez and Romelu Lukaku.
Michael Essien is a likely beneficiary of squad rotation as Mourinho will shuffle his deck for the upcoming FA Cup fourth round clash with Stoke City on Sunday, but could it be his last match?
'He's in a position where he can go or stay,' Mourinho commented, as the Ghanian is linked with a move to Italy - to join AC Milan.
'If he stays, we are more than happy. He's a fantastic club man and a fantastic team player. He's another player, like Mata, who gave everything to this club. But if a great situation arrives for his future - for a few more years of contract and career at a high level – he's another one we feel we must show respect to and not stop him going.'
And finally, Marco van Ginkel uploaded a video to his Instagram account that shows him recovering from his anterior cruciate ligament injury. Looking good Marco!
image: © Ben Sutherland