Juan Mata had no choice but to leave Chelsea after Blues boss Jose Mourinho refused to speak to the Spaniard, according to a Daily Telegraph report by Spanish journalist Guillem Balague.
Mata was reportedly frozen out by Mourinho and felt like he had no option but to move despite working hard to prove his worth to the team.
The two-time Chelsea player of the year is on the cusp of sealing a £37m move to Manchester United, subject to a medical.
That figure would be a club record fee for United. And the report claims Mata's sale was always part of Mourinho's plan.
The strategy has two parts - Mourinho has calculated that United are no longer a title rival and Mata can only help them take points off potential title rivals this season.
Secondly, he has judged that Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian are superior players to Mata and that, as he must sell one to raise funds for January additions, the Spain international had to be the one scarified.
Balague claims that Mata never, and would never, have asked for a transfer from Chelsea so Mourinho left him on the bench to force his hand.
And the report goes on to say that Mourinho never explained the situation to Mata, preferring to freeze him out of the side instead before selling him on.