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Mourinho: Mata needed a rest

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho maintains that Juan Mata is not for sale and has explained his benching at Old Trafford.

Last Updated: 28/08/13 at 09:41 Post Comment   

Juan Mata: Benched against Manchester United, but only to give him a rest

Juan Mata: Benched against Manchester United, but only to give him a rest

Speculation regarding the Spain international's future has intensified after he was left out of the Blues' starting XI for the 0-0 Premier League draw at Manchester United on Monday night.

The news that Chelsea are now in 'advanced talks' with Porto winger Christian Atsu is also likely to fan the transfer flames further, rather than put them out.

Chelsea are already well-stocked for creative talent, so the arrival of another forward-thinking player would suggest that sales are imminent.

Manchester United have been strongly linked with Mata, while Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitted a liking for the World Cup winner on Tuesday.

Mourinho, though, intends to leave his Premier League rivals empty-handed, with Mata still very much part of his plans.

The Portuguese tactician claims too much is being made of the 25-year-old's absence against United, with his withdrawal from the first team purely down to a lack of pre-season minutes.

Mourinho said in The Sun: "There is no chance Juan goes.

"He had a very small pre-season after the Confederations Cup. And during that pre-season he was injured.

"He started training two days before we played the first league match.

"He played against Aston Villa and I decided to put him on the bench against United."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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