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Manchester United issue meaningless Mata denial after meaningless bid story

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Laurence Griffiths

Ok, so this whole Juan Mata thing is... well, I don't know what it is. Manchester United have now denied making a bid for the Spanish playmaker after reports had previously suggested they were in on him for something in the region of £40 million; that denial means precisely nothing considering that nobody said that they'd actually bid on him in the first place.

United's interactions with the press since Sir Alex Ferguson left have been an excellent example of incompetent propagandists trying to make up for incompetent decision makers, from the managerial appointment to the summer's transfer window to now. Yes, it's possible to read this as 'United are definitely making a move for Juan Mata they're going to steal one of Chelsea's best players ha ha ha!', it's also possible to read this as the result of a meeting of PR types entitled 'Meeting About Mourinho Wayne Rooney Comments'.

The minutes I'm envisioning go a little like this:

  • Consume doughnuts.
  • Angry ranting about Jose Mourinho and Wayne Rooney
  • Agree that something must be done about Chelsea
  • "We could say we're buying Juan Mata!"
  • Discussion of how to get around problem that nobody believes United's transfer rumour stories anymore
  • "We could say we're about to bid for Juan Mata and then issue a denial so people put the dots together!"
  • "Sold!"

I've kind of forgotten how meetings go, to be honest. I'm a blogger. But it was probably something like that. My feeling is that this is tit for tat over Mourinho's comments that Rooney will end up being sold overseas, which unless Mata learns to defend is probably his ultimate fate as well. But this way United can both annoy Chelsea and get their fans hopes up over yet another transfer that isn't going to happen before going 'well, we tried' as Mata is unveiled as a Real Madrid player or whatever.

If I'm a cynic, it's because Manchester United's PR department made me one. Ok, that's not true.