A few weeks ago the wires were humming with speculation that Chelsea’s playmaker Juan Mata was not in new manager Jose Mourinho’s plans, and that he would be sold during this window. At the time, I went out on a limb and said I’d be amazed if that was the case. Recent rumours suggest my stance was justified.
The Daily Mirror are reporting that not only is Mourinho convinced that Mata should stay, there now seems to be the potential of a new contract being agreed, which would extend the Spaniard’s tenure in west London until 2018. The news must surely come as a relief to any Chelsea fans troubled by the prospect of losing their most creative influence.
It’s also understood that assurances have also been given to Mata’s compatriot Fernando Torres. Whilst no new contract has been discussed for the striker, he has been assured by Mourinho that he is part of his plans for the new season. The striker has been an all too infrequent contributor to the fortunes of the Blues since his £50million capture from Liverpool two and a half years ago, and despite serving under four different managers in that time, none have found the required alchemy to conjure the rampaging form of his Liverpool years.
Given this failure of his predecessors, there must be a part of the substantial Mourinho ego that requires him to make the magic work and make Roman Abramovich’s most expensive indulgence shine again. Given the forlorn figure that the Spaniard has cut over recent times, it will be a triumph to laud should the ‘Special One’ deliver the goods.
Whilst some amongst Chelsea fans will have mixed feelings about the Torres news, it’s fairly safe to say that very few will have such qualms about Mata’s future being assured.