There have been a number of transfer moves taking place around the Premier League, but one of the biggest actions of the offseason might be with one person not going anywhere.
Chelsea have begun proceedings to offer Juan Mata a new contract before the start of the 2013-14 season - in order to ward off a long list of interested clubs and finally end speculation about the Spaniard's future.
The 25-year-old's current deal ends in 2016, but Chelsea want to extend that to 2018 and also raise his wages from under £70,000 a week to £100,000.
Throughout the summer, Mata had been the subject of various rumours for him to be on his way out of Stamford Bridge.
Early in the transfer period, it was reported by Jack Wilson of the Daily Star that Barcelona were going to try to lure the midfielder back to his home country.
Simon Jones of the Daily Mail was then one of many sources to report that Mata was part of a package offered to Manchester United for Wayne Rooney. This was later denied by the club, but there was likely interest from the other side.
However, Chelsea have sent a clear message to suitors around the world: Mata is not available.
This did not appear to be the case when Jose Mourinho took over as manager following the season. At the time, he named only five certain starters for next year: Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Eden Hazard and Oscar. The fact that Mata was not on this list was quite suspicious.
Mata was clearly one of the top players in the entire Premier League last season, totaling an incredible 12 goals and 12 assists to help Chelsea qualify for Champions League play. Whenever the club needed someone to make a big play, the midfielder was there to provide a goal either with an assist or by scoring himself.
|Wayne Rooney||Manchester United||12||10|
At 25 years old, he is still entering his prime and is certain to continue to get better as the years go on. Time spent with more world-class midfielders on the Spanish national team will only help in this area.
Who is the most important player on Chelsea?
As a result, fans can expect him, Gareth Bale and a few others to battle for a long time to be known as the top midfielder in the Premier League. This is definitely worth an increased wage to about £100,000 per week.
Still, the biggest thing this contract extension does is show the respect that the club has for the talented player. With a few years before Mata's previous deal was up, there was no need to push the conversation. However, this shows him how important he is to the organization.
Mata will still have the opportunity to transfer out of Chelsea if he wants later on in his career, but it now seems likely that he will stick at Stamford Bridge for the near future.
This move will do more to secure trophies in the future than any other move the club completes this summer.
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