Chelsea shouldn't rule out selling to domestic rivals, as long as it's best for Chelsea

Shaun Botterill

It's certainly more appealing to see your star players leave the Premier League when their time at the club is up, but Chelsea shouldn't rule out selling to rivals if it's the best deal they can make

Chelsea are reportedly on the verge of sending Juan Mata to a Premier League rival, with Manchester United the supposed destination. Some are up in arms that we'd consider parting ways with our two-time player of the year at all, but even those that are ok with the idea of a transfer are generally upset that we'd even consider selling to United.

I can only write about this from a personal standpoint, but the idea of selling to a rival doesn't seriously bother me. I've always been of the opinion that the club needs to do what's best for them in any deal, while not worrying about the implications the move would have on the other club involved.

When considering a potential sale of Juan Mata to United, the first questions Chelsea need to be asking do not involve the Manchester club. Michael Emenalo needs to decide if United's offer is fair value for the player, or if the club can expect to see more money for him from elsewhere. If they reach the conclusion that United's offer is superior to any other they're likely to receive, then we move on.

The next thing to consider is whether the club can take that money and roster spot and turn themselves into an improved squad, or whether it's simply selling for the sake of selling. That's a matter that's certainly up for debate, but if you think the club can take a massive profit from a Mata deal and turn it into a more useful player, you certainly start to think harder about the deal.

The final thing you really need to consider is the player's age and development curve, in relation to his contract. In Kevin De Bruyne's case, there's a near certainty involved that he'll develop into a better player than he currently is over the course of the next year or two. With Mata, there's probably little to no development left to be expected. He is what he is, and his value is probably as high as it's going to be unless his playing time goes up.

Mata will undoubtedly make United a better squad, but with £40 million to spend, that improvement is going to happen regardless. We need to focus less on what the deal means for David Moyes and his squad, and more on what it means for Chelsea. Can we spend the profits from a Juan Mata sale in a way that would make us better than we were before the sale? Can we get more for Mata by refusing to sell to United? Can we expect to eventually get more money for Mata if we keep him around for a bit longer? If the answers to any of these questions aren't ideal for Chelsea, then you absolutely refuse to sell Juan Mata to a rival. If all three questions can be answered in a way that makes the deal sound about as good as anything we could reasonably expect, you pull the trigger.

If Chelsea do end up selling Johnny Kills to United, it will be painful for the fans every time they have to see him in that awful red shirt. At some point though, we need to put that sort of emotion aside and worry about what the deal means for the club wearing blue.

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