Mata punished for toying with Barca move…
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is consistently leaving Juan Mata out his his line-up as punishment for the player approaching Barcelona regarding a possible transfer this summer, reports Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo.
To the bemusement of many, Mourinho has not started Mata in a single league game this season, despite the 25-year-old being regarded by the majority as Chelsea’s best player for the past two seasons.
Many had questioned why the Portuguese boss wasn’t giving the talented playmaker Stamford Bridge game time, but it appears the Spaniard may have upset his outspoken manager.
According to the publication, Mata and his agent approached the La Liga champions about a future transfer, but before a bid was lodged, Mourinho became aware of the situation, warning the player to ‘stop flirting with Barcelona’.
Mourinho has a famously frosty relationship with the Catalan side, and flatly refused to sell them Mata, regardless of whether the player was seen as important to first-team plans. The Portuguese boss would even prefer the Spaniard to join his old club Real Madrid, from whom he parted in similarly bitter circumstances.
Mata himself is disappointed that despite Mourinho encouraging him to stay during the summer, and warning Barcelona to stay away, his talents have not warranted the playing time they deserve.
Mundo Deportivo reckon Mata would slot perfectly into the Barcelona side alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar as a replacement for Alexis Sanchez, but it seems nigh on impossible that Mourinho would allow a sale to the la Liga champions.
With competition from the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian, Kevin De Bruyne, Oscar and Andre Schurrle, Mata will have to doubly impress Mourinho if he wants to regain a spot as a vital Chelsea player.