Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his desire to bring England striker Wayne Rooney to Stamford Bridge, but by selling Juan Mata to Manchester United, he may just have unintentionally ended his chances of doing so.
There are so many unanswered questions over why Mourinho has frozen out and subsequently allowed the hugely talented Mata to join such a big rival as Manchester United.
The Red Devils may not be a direct threat to Chelsea’s own 2/1 rated title-bid this season, but with transfer target Rooney about to be made a new contract offer by United – that would reportedly see him become the club’s highest ever paid player should he sign it – the Mata move appears all the more curious.
Before the arrival of the Spanish playmaker, Rooney’s assessment of the way things were heading at Old Trafford would have been excusably grim, though by breaking the club’s transfer record on Mata, David Moyes and co have bought themselves much more bargaining power.
If Mata can begin sprinkling his magic from the offset for the champions, then Rooney may well be persuaded that the club are heading in the right direction again.
The two-time Chelsea player-of-the-year is likely to have completed his move in time to face Cardiff in the Premier League on a Tuesday night; a game Man United are the heavy favourites to win at 2/7, despite having lost four times at Old Trafford in the top-flight this season.
With strike partner Robin van Persie nearing his own return to fitness and given the lift of signing Mata ,this could finally be the time when United start to find some consistency again.
Meanwhile, Mourinho may be left to rue his decision in more ways than one.
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