Chelsea attacking midfielder Juan Mata is set for crunch talks on his future with the club as he continues to struggle for playing time under Jose Mourinho.
The Spain international was voted the Stamford Bridge outfit’s player of the year in each of the last two campaigns, but has been unable to find his way into the Blues side on a regular basis this term, and reacted angrily to his substitution after just 53 minutes against Southampton on New Year’s Day.
The Daily Mirror report that the 25 year-old’s father, Juan Mata Sr., is to jet in to London to discuss the possibility of joining La Liga club Atletico de Madrid on loan for the remainder of the season with a view to a permanent transfer in the summer.
Having provided a hugely impressive 12 goals and 12 assists in his 31 Premier League starts last season, Mata has managed just two assists so far in the 11 matches he has begun in 2013-14, and has been substituted in all but two of those games.
Despite Mata’s keen eye for a killer pass, top quality ball control and a genuine goal threat, Mourinho appears to prefer the positional discipline and running of Brazilian midfielder Oscar and his compatriot, summer signing Willian.
Mata is wary that his place in the Spain squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup is in danger, and the diminutive playmaker knows assured first team football is crucial for the rest of the season.
Atletico Madrid have kept pace with FC Barcelona at the top of La Liga, and signing a world and European champion in Mata could be the boost they need for the remainder of the campaign.