Jose Mourinho says Juan Mata is not a special player

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Jose Mourinho has threatened to open up old wounds after suggesting he sold Juan Mata to Manchester United because he wasn't a special player.

Mata had been named Chelsea's Player of the Season twice before Mourinho took over last summer. Controversially, Mourinho could not fit the Spaniard into his line up and opted to sell him to Premier League rivals Manchester United in the January transfer window for £37.1 million.

The deal, which saw Mata sign a contract worth £140,000-a-week, left plenty of Chelsea fans questioning the judgement of their Special One, but with the Blues currently five points clear at the top of the Premier League, few consider the sale a mistake. However, as Chelsea prepare to travel to Old Trafford for the first time since the transfer, the threat of revenge from Mata is a prominent one.

Speaking ahead of the crunch clash against Manchester United, Mourinho insisted that he was right to sell Mata to a direct Premier League rival. In fact, the 51-year-old went as far to say that the Spain international was not a special player.

"I look at Juan as a very good player and no more than that."


He said: "Juan is a very good player and I look at him as a very good player, but I don't look at him as a special player because of certain circumstances.

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"In my career there is not one have been 20, 30, 40 players who were my players and for some reason we sold them or they decided to leave.

"So for me, he is a very good player, and very good players are dangerous - nothing more than that.

"I look at Juan as a very good player and no more than that."


Mata has continued his good form at Manchester United since making his move but David Moyes and Louis van Gaal after him have both struggled–as Mourinho did–to fit him into their formation.

That has led to suggestions that he could be offloaded in the January transfer window with Atletico Madrid, Juventus and his former club Valencia all being linked with a move. It is a strange predicament for a player who was widely regarded as one of the best in the world at one stage.

Mata is likely to start against Chelsea on Sunday as Wayne Rooney continues to serve his suspension for getting sent off against West Ham. It give Mata a chance to prove a point to both Van Gaal and Mourinho, both of whom seem unconvinced by his ability.

Manchester United
Jose Mourinho
Juan Mata
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