Juan Mata insists relationship with Jose Mourinho has 'never been bad'

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Juan Mata has changed his status from being one of the first players rumoured to be shown the exit when Jose Mourinho arrived at Manchester United to become the man who is keeping the club captain out of the starting XI.

The Spaniard's lack of game time under Mourinho at Chelsea paved the way for his £37.1 million move to Old Trafford in 2014.

There were serious doubts over the pair's relationship and whether Mata still had a future at Old Trafford once Louis van Gaal was replaced by the Portuguese boss.

The concerns were exasperated further when Mata was substituted off in the Community Shield 27 minutes after coming on himself.

But since then the 28-year-old has gone from strength to strength under Mourinho and Wayne Rooney's poor form has prompted Mata to be selected in his preferred position - behind the striker - for the last two competitive matches.

It's obvious that any supposed rift between the player and manager is non-existent and Mata has reiterated he did not want to leave the club at the end of last season.

"My relationship with Mourinho has never been bad," Mata said, as per the Mail. "Many lies were told about me and Mourinho when he arrived at the club this summer.

"It bothered me that every day I had to read and listen to rumours that weren't true. With him I'm fine.

"You read a lot of comments on Facebook and Twitter but they just make you laugh."

The ex-Chelsea ace has scored two goals and created one more from five Premier League appearances so far this term but it is also his general play that has earned him a regular starting spot.

One of the big criticisms directed at Rooney has been the lack of tempo generated in the final third of the pitch when he is in the team, however, Mata's extra creativity and vision has been crucial to unlocking the various well-organised defensive units the Red Devils have been faced with.

His form hasn't been enough to earn him an international recall, though, as Spain manager Julen Lopetegui has omitted Mata from the squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Italy and Albania.

Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Premier League
Juan Mata
Manchester United

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