Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insists that he won’t try to sell Spanish international Juan Mata like he did at Chelsea.
Both men had a bit on history at Stamford Bridge as the Portuguese preferred to play Oscar as his number 10 ahead of the Spaniard who got fed up and demanded for a move to Old Trafford and the rest is history.
However, immediately Mourinho’s appointment was confirmed by the Red Devils, reports linked Mata with a move away from the FA Cup kings with the links of Barcelona and Everton rumoured to be vying for the signature of the 28-year-old.
Currently on tour in China, Mata and Mourinho have worked together in the last couple of days without rifts and the former Real Madrid boss wants to keep the star at Old Trafford as long as he fights for his place like every other person in the team.
“He’s here and he works hard,” Mourinho said. “He knows that I know he is a good player and he has space in the squad.
“Until August 31 the market is open for every one of my players that is not happy, but to be fair I think he is [happy].
“I think he is happy and I am not expecting him to ask to leave. I am expecting him to do what he is doing now, which is to fight for a place.
“In the end there will be space for everyone, we have 38 matches in the Premier League, we expect to play a lot of them in the Europa League and domestic cups so in a squad of, let’s say, 22 players, there will be a space for everyone. So, yes, there is a space for Juan.”
Mourinho went on to clarify what transpired between him and Mata at former club – Chelsea.
“First of all, I think maybe all of you misunderstood what happened in our previous club because I never told Mata to leave,” he added. “I never pressed the club to sell him.
“It was his decision and only his decision, and I don’t like players that want to leave. That’s why I think every player has a price because if one day a player wants to leave it is because he does not want to be with us.
“If the player doesn’t want to be with us, goodbye – be happy where you want to go. Juan at our previous club was not so happy because he was not my first choice at that time. He wanted to play every game.
“He had a fantastic offer from a big club like Man United, he wanted to leave. My previous club had a great offer, we thought that was financially very much acceptable.
“We were not with this old-fashioned idea of, ‘I don’t sell players to my direct competitors inside of my own country’.
“We sold him to Man United and done. Nothing else.”