Jose Mourinho has tried to quell speculation surrounding Juan Mata by saying the Spaniard was perfectly happy after last week's Community Shield victory over Leicester City.
Mata emerged from the bench for the final 27 minutes of the match but found his name called by the fourth official again with only seconds to spare. Mourinho later revealed he had subbed his substitute because he needed tall players to defend a slender 2-1 lead.
Reports then emerged that Mata was seriously unhappy with the incident and was ready to ask for a transfer while he still had the chance. Mourinho and Mata's relationship is obviously still fractured after their time shared at Chelsea and another separation appeared likely.
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Mourinho rejects that idea, though, instead claiming Mata understood why he was brought off and was happy to have been called upon in the first place. He expertly deflected the attention focussed on Mata by revealing that his new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan was actually the unhappy one.
The Armenian was the man to replace Mata but didn't even touch the ball before the final whistle blew. Having arrived from Borussia Dortmund as a first-team regular, sitting on the bench would have been a strange feeling for Mkhitaryan.
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Speaking ahead of Sunday's game against Bournemouth, Mourinho said: "He [Mata] was very happy that he was my first choice to come to the pitch in a difficult moment of the game for us when we conceded a goal.
“The one that was not happy was [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan because he came on for [Mata] with one minute [left] and didn’t touch the ball.”
Having just announced his season-long loan to Sunderland, Adnan Januzaj was also a hot topic in the press conference. The Belgian had fallen completely out of favour under Louis van Gaal and fans fear they have seen the last of him in a Manchester United shirt.
Despite sending him out on loan for the season, Mourinho insisted Januzaj remained part of his long-term plans and is simply sending him out to get him back up to the level he was at in 2014.
“He fits in my plans,” Mourinho said of Januzaj. “That is why he is on loan at a Premier League club. If he doesn’t fit in my plans, if I don’t care where he goes, if I don’t care which club, which manager, I just send him to Borussia Dortmund where he didn’t play one match.”
Manchester United travel to the Vitality Stadium to take on Eddie Howe's Bournemouth side on Sunday afternoon but will be without Paul Pogba, who is banned after a one-game suspension in Italy was transferred.
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