A combination of Monday Night Football's discussion over the prospective transfer that would see Juan Mata exit Chelsea and switch allegiances to Manchester United, together with a prominent rumour printed by The Telegraph that has already been circulated on social media before it has even been read by commuters on their way to work this morning, saw the term 'Mata to United' trend overnight.
According to the report, United are readying a £37m bid for the unsettled Spanish playmaker, a 25-year-old who has scored just once from 17 matches in all competitions thus far this season but a technically-adept footballer with a full appreciation of the pass and all it's many varieties.
On Sky Sports last night, Monday, Gary Neville summarised: 'It's a lot of money…' before mentioning that he has doubts over whether Mata would actually fit into the United culture and their way of playing. The implication, obviously, that Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie would always be the preferred two up top, leaving Mata perhaps shunted out wide, where he is less effective than if he were playing as a 'number ten'.
Fans of both Manchester United and Chelsea discussed the topic on Twitter, with Blues fans either rejecting the rumour as 'nonsense', claiming it to be a clever ploy by manager Jose Mourinho as Chelsea do not now play United while Moyes still has to take on the Stamford Bridge side's title rivals - leaving the possibility for points to be dropped should Mata score against Arsenal or Manchester City. While others hoped it would represent one half of a swap deal that would see Wayne Rooney come the other way.
United supporters, meanwhile, appeared to cling on to the story as if it were just a dream…
I will not tolerate any Juan Mata to United nonsense on my timeline. It’s ridiculous. #CFC— Chelsea Rumours (@ChelseaRumours) January 20, 2014
Mourinho is clever. Scenario: Mata to united. Mata plays and scores against City and Arsenal. Chelsea win the league. #Mourinhogenius.— Niaz Muhamad (@niaz1987) January 20, 2014
I would only think about selling mata to United for Rooney coming to us. But then again, why should we sell to united. Rather sell to barca.— Thomas (@xTGWS) January 20, 2014
Honestly, Mata to United would be a dream come true, but I just don't see it happening. Also, would Moyes even know what to do with him?— Sean Hinchley (@SeAndre_3000) January 20, 2014
Doubt we will sell mata to united but I'll cry if we do— Cam (@CameronIrwin) January 21, 2014
The man who broke the Ferguson retiring story is also the man breaking the Mata to United story! #MUFC— Aneeb Bani (@lfsprez) January 21, 2014
image: © Wshjackson