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Report: Manchester United are interested in Juan Mata

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Chelsea want one of United's players, so naturally the Manchester club want one of Chelsea's

Alex Livesey

Willian to Chelsea wasn't the only interesting piece of transfer news today, as ESPN has a report of a Chelsea player being targeted by a Premier League rival. According to ESPN:

Manchester United have made an informal inquiry to Chelsea about the possibility of bringing Juan Mata to Old Trafford this transfer window, sources from both clubs have told ESPN.

I suppose it doesn't hurt to ask, but I'd imagine that's about as far as this one is ever going to get. If United really wanted to push it, they could submit an offer for Chelsea to promptly refuse. That's certainly what would happen, as Chelsea have absolutely no reason to sell one of their top players.

Some Manchester United fans are inevitably going to compare this situation to the bids the Blues have made for Wayne Rooney, but the reality is that the situations have very little in common:

  • Wayne Rooney has two seasons left on his current deal. Juan Mata is still has three years to go before his current deal expires. While that additional year may not seem like a lot, it really is.
  • Wayne Rooney is paid more than his recent play on the field warrants. Juan Mata is a bargain, and is most definitely paid less than his worth.
  • Wayne Rooney hasn't been a definite starter at United for most of the past 6 months. Juan Mata is probably the second name on the Chelsea team sheet for big matches, after Petr Cech.

It makes perfect sense that United have interest, as Mata would start for every single team in the Premier League (including the champions). Unfortunately for them, the odds of Chelsea parting ways with the Spaniard are next to nil (even if they were to decide to add Willian to the mix).

This sounds to me like a pretty half-assed attempts by United to give the Blues a taste of their own medicine, following Jose Mourinho's comments about another Wayne Rooney bid on Wednesday. That's certainly fair enough I guess, but they probably should have thought things through a little more. If they want to rile up Chelsea fans and potentially unsettle a player, pick a target like Nathaniel Chalobah who is actually nearing the end of his deal. Making public their intent to add a player Chelsea are never going to sell does nothing, just as their pointless bid for Cesc Fabregas went nowhere.

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