Mourinho: Mata needed a rest

  • Last Updated: August 28 2013, 14:29 BST

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho maintains that Juan Mata is not for sale and has explained his benching at Old Trafford.

Juan Mata: Benched against Manchester United, but only to give him a rest
Juan Mata: Benched against Manchester United, but only to give him a rest

Speculation regarding the Spain international's future has intensified after he was left out of the Blues' starting XI for the 0-0 Premier League draw at Manchester United on Monday night.

Juan Mata

8. Juan Mata

Title Number
Appearances 4 (1)
Goals 2
Assists 0
Yellows 0
Reds 0
*Current Season

Reports that Chelsea are now in 'advanced talks' with Porto winger Christian Atsu are also likely to fan the transfer flames further.

Chelsea are already well-stocked for creative talent, so the arrival of another forward-thinking player would suggest that sales are imminent.

Manchester United have been strongly linked with Mata, while Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitted a liking for the World Cup winner on Tuesday and Tottenham have also been linked.

Mourinho, though, intends to leave his Premier League rivals empty-handed, with Mata still very much part of his plans.

The Portuguese tactician claims too much is being made of the 25-year-old's absence against United, with his withdrawal from the first team purely down to a lack of pre-season minutes.

Mourinho said in The Sun: "There is no chance Juan goes.

"He had a very small pre-season after the Confederations Cup. And during that pre-season he was injured.

"He started training two days before we played the first league match.

"He played against Aston Villa and I decided to put him on the bench against United."


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