Mata sale to United forces apology from Mourinho - why?

Chelsea manager has said sorry for many things over Mata, now at Manchester United.

Erstwhile Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata, who recently secured a £37m transfer to Manchester United, was deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.

Rather than rejoice in the remuneration received from the big-money deal, Blues boss Jose Mourinho has indicated that he regards the foundations of Mata's departure to be a personal failure on his part, something he has apologised for, as he alludes to the fact that the Spaniard did not receive as much pitch-time as Oscar or Eden Hazard as his performances did not match the attack-minded Brazilian or the technically-adept Belgian.

'I am sorry that I didn't make him a stronger player,' Mourinho lamented on Sky Sports.

'Maybe it was something new for him, not to be first choice in a difficult moment,' he continued. 'Maybe that made him, as a man, as a player, stronger but I gave him nothing to be honest and I feel sorry with that.

'I tried to make him play in a position where he was not comfortable. He gave everything and played some good matches in that position. We are speaking about a world champion, a European champion. It is difficult for him.

'I feel sorry for that and because of that I feel we couldn't stop him going to Manchester United, despite being Manchester United's direct rival.'

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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