Chelsea boss reveals the single reason he sold Mata to Manchester United

Spanish playmaker was "not clever", says Mourinho, as transfer is completed.

Jose Mourinho has revealed that he sold Juan Mata to Manchester United simply because the Spanish midfielder is “not clever”.

Mata completed his £37.1 million move from Stamford Bridge to Old Trafford this weekend, after falling out of favour under the Portuguese manager.

After a slight delay to the transfer, he completed a medical on Saturday and signed a contract understood to run until the summer of 2018.

Mata was twice Chelsea’s player of the season, yet Mourinho indicated that he did not have much faith in the 25-year-old.

Mourinho is quoted in the Daily Express as saying: “For my players, if they go the only reason for is they are not playing. If they go, it’s because they are not clever.”

That could be considered a surprising assertion by Mourinho, on a player who graduated from Real Madrid’s youth academy, and was once voted Valencia’s best young player before he joined Chelsea for £23.5million in August 2011.

In addition to 32 caps for the Spanish national side, Mata also helped Chelsea to win the FA Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League.

David Moyes appears to have faith in Mata that Mourinho did not. The United boss said: “Juan is one of the finest playmakers in the game today and it’s a real pleasure to have secured his signature.”

It is clear that Mata’s style did not sit well with Mourinho, and the player’s open letter of thanks on his personal website hinted at his frustration at sitting on the bench.

Mata said: “I have experienced some complicated situations from a personal point of view, mainly during the last six months.”

He also had a begrudging word of thanks to Mourinho, although it could perhaps be considered a rather backhanded compliment.

And [thanks] to Jose, for making me a stronger player, because in difficult moments, I have learnt to remain positive and to keep working hard.”


image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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