Manchester United star Juan Mata has revealed that the cold shoulder treatment from Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho left him very unhappy and put the wheels in motion for last year's blockbuster £37.1million January transfer.
Mata was a huge fan favourite at Stamford Bridge and won Chelsea's player of the year award in each of his first two seasons in West London, but Mourinho decided that there was ultimately no room for the Spanish schemer in his long-term plan to make the Blues champions once again.
It's been a tough 12 months for the potent playmaker, but there's plenty of positives in terms of performance since his January switch to Old Trafford.
Louis van Gaal's £150m summer spend has ensured competition for places at United is still this season, but Mata looks a player revitalised and is far happier than in his final few months at Chelsea, where he believes Mourinho didn't attempt to establish any kind of relationship in a move which left him isolated and unhappy.
Mourinho didn't have room for Mata
In a wide-ranging interview with El Pais the 26-year-old opened up on his Chelsea exit, sharing: "You never know what will happen in life. I had two fantastic seasons, winning titles, I had been voted player of the year by both peers and fans.
"But then Mourinho came and I started playing few minutes. For better or for worse, we had no relationship, there was no dialogue.
"I was not happy, but always gave the most out of respect for my colleagues. Then United came looking and I wanted to play in the World Cup, I had to think about me."
Mourinho's ruthless streak has been on show for all to see since he began a second spell in charge at Chelsea, with Mata shown the exit door along with David Luiz and club legends Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole.
Mata has moved on, but is the right fit for United?
The challenge now is for Mata to find the consistent form required to prove Mourinho wrong and play regularly in his favoured number 10 role for United, a position that has some serious competition.
Despite being dropped on two occasions it's been a productive start to the season for the £140,000-a-week star, following on from some impressive showings towards the back end of last season.
With Wayne Rooney suspended for another two games Mata has the chance to show he deserves top billing in a central spot, with strong performances exactly what's required to remove lingering speculation that Van Gaal might sell United's former club-record signing if given the opportunity.
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