The Daily Mail are at it again, linking Juan Mata to Manchester United. Here's what Neil Ashton and Simon Jones had to say on the matter:
United have been given enough encouragement to make their move for a player who has not featured in the Chelsea side since he was substituted against Southampton on New Year’s Day. Chelsea’s player of the year for the past two seasons is desperate to leave Stamford Bridge.
They believe a deal can be done for Mata, 25, and Chelsea will sell if United find £40m.
I can't imagine that Chelsea would be overly keen on selling to United after their reluctance to talk about Wayne Rooney this summer, but at least the papers are starting to chime in with prices that would make a little sense. Whether or not selling to a 'rival' would be something we'd consider is probably a subject for a laugh session in the comments, but it's hard to argue that £40 million for Juan Mata wouldn't be an excellent bit of business in the FFP era.
As discussed here several times before, Chelsea have no real incentive to sell in January. Any need they might have had was essentially erased when they sold Kevin De Bruyne to Wolfsburg, and it would be far better financially for the club to simply hang onto the player and decide what to do with him over the summer.
From a squad management perspective, this also makes little sense. After shipping out De Bruyne, selling Mata would leave the club with just four good options in an attacking band of three. With a schedule that will soon become crowded with important fixtures, I can't imagine that's something that the club would be overly keen on.
This one looks like a turd and smells like a turd. My guess? It's a turd.