Juan Mata must leave Chelsea for PSG in €48m deal this year

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One only needs to look back over the past few years to see how infuriatingly mundane a protracted high-profile transfer saga can be.

The will he/won't he debate can only be shot out so many times by the media before it becomes nothing but regurgitated drivel that does little to inspire the imagination.

If a world-class player is involved you can guarantee that declarations of interest will almost certainly come from clubs almost on a weekly basis, and it's a particularly strong rumour that's instigated this particular article.

Juan Mata was always going to be linked with a move away in the winter transfer window.

Those who thought Jose Mourinho would buckle under fan pressure and resolve to field Mata against his own inclinations have been naturally proven wrong and the Spaniard still finds it increasingly difficult to get a game.

The vultures are ready to swoop once more now and one gets the feeling that Mata may be slightly more inclined to sit on the fence with respects to his future than he was before.

Whereas at the beginning of the year the 25-year-old wouldn't have been necessarily wrong for thinking that he would eventually work his way into Mourinho's setup, he must now realise that bar a horrific injury to either Eden Hazard or Oscar, he isn't going to be offered the opportunity to orchestrate proceedings in the manner that has defined his appearances for the last two years.

And so it's on that note that I can bring in Paris Saint-Germain, who have emerged as the most inclined to persuade Chelsea to part with their two time Player of the Year in January.

Speculation over a proposed €48million bid from the French champions is witnessing a gradual growth around Europe and, regardless of whether or not the powers that be at Stamford Bridge attempt to convince Mata that his future lies in west London, in my mind the only option is to jump ship whilst he still retains his credibility as a top star.

A transfer to the Parc des Princes may lower the level of competition he is playing against, but it would immediately elevate the opportunities he has to play. In his situation Mata needs to take into account if he would rather sit warming a bench for his current club, or play first-team football in only ever so slightly less esteemed surroundings.

Following the cash injection- and subsequent ascension to prominence- witnessed at both PSG and title challengers Monaco, Ligue 1 is no longer simply a breeding ground for eye-catching French youngsters, nor is it a stepping stone for South American starlets hoping to eventually move on to the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The arrivals of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Radamel Falcao and Thiago Silva have increased the stock of the country's elite division to the point where it can now be considered a viable option for even the biggest names in football. It pains me to refer to them as trendsetters but their influx have rubbished a stigma that would have previously stood in the way of players like Juan Mata.

Amongst the budding champions of excellence present at the Parisian giants, Mata doesn't just stand to see his hopes of making Spain's World Cup squad significantly promoted, he could also take the next progressional step in his career in becoming 'the go to guy' at a club.

The former Valencia man has enjoyed aye-catching success with Chelsea, but the correct decision for him is to now part ways in favour of a new challenge.

For Mata the downsides of remaining an unused cog in Mourinho's proven, yet ultimately predictable, machine are inconspicuously evident, and the benefits of moving to Laurent Blanc's side even more so.

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Juan Mata
Premier League

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