Manchester United Transfer News: Chelsea 'Happy' to Let Juan Mata Leave

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2014

Chelsea forward Juan Mata gestures toward spectators at the end of an exhibition international friendly soccer match against Manchester City, Saturday, May 25, 2013, at Yankee Stadium in New York. Manchester City's won 5-3. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Manchester United and Chelsea are reportedly locked in talks surrounding Juan Mata, and expectation is growing that he will end up at Old Trafford by the end of the January transfer window.

Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph reports Mata has informed those close to him that he will transfer to Manchester United:

Guillem Balague, Bleacher Report UK guest columnist and Sky Sports' resident Spanish football expert, previously reported an agreement is thought to be on the horizon. He told Revista de La Liga:

Manchester United and Chelsea are negotiating the future of Juan Mata - and the idea is that Mata, who Chelsea are happy to let go, goes to Old Trafford in this transfer window.

Chelsea are asking for £32 million or with Wayne Rooney as part of the deal. Manchester United have said no to the money and no to Rooney - but I am under the impression that a deal will be reached because it benefits everybody.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 05:  Juan Mata of Chelsea celebrates after scoring the winning goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on May 5, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Get
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

BBC Sports' Ben Smith later reported Mata did not train with Chelsea' first team on Jan. 22:

Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail also develops this thread, suggesting Chelsea want £37 million for the player, who hasn't made an appearance since reacting badly to being substituted against Southampton on Jan. 1.

One of the main stumbling points could be Mata's desire to make the move, as Jose Mourinho is waiting until the player asks to leave before selling—as was the case with Kevin de Bruyne prior to his Wolfsburg transfer—per Jamie Jackson and Dominic Fifield of The Guardian.

"Mata is determined to push through the move and Mourinho is understood to have accepted that he wants to leave in search of first-team football," writes Ashton.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 23: Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 23, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

United fans will understandably approach this one with huge caution after watching on helplessly as David Moyes failed to land the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Daniele De Rossi and Sami Khedira over the summer, per ESPN.

This feeling is shared by Jason Burt of The Telegraph, who also senses the potential deal shouldn't be taken for granted until Mata is seen holding the famous red shirt:

While Mata isn't necessarily the midfield colossus United are craving right now, his transfer has the power to boost the entire squad. Currently seventh in the Premier League and struggling to qualify for next season's Champions League, United need to show their ambition and intent of making the top four.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Juan Mata of Chelsea charges upfield during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge on October 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Just like Mesut Ozil's transfer to Arsenal sparked the Gunners into life, Mata has the capability to galvanise the team's confidence.

His versatility means he can play on either wing or in the No. 10 role. He could interlink seamlessly with Wayne Rooney, perhaps alternating positions if the Englishman feels the need to maraud into defensive mode.

Vitally, Mata would give United hope. He can make a difference on the pitch, but his presence would also attract other world-class players to the club during the summer.

This is perhaps the most important point for Moyes, who will be wary of falling behind Chelsea and Manchester City in the transfer stakes.