The likelihood of Juan Mata becoming a Manchester United player is increasing by the minute. If it happens, it would be a suitable move for everyone involved.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will get the finances he needs for new players (that need explains his behaviour toward Mata). Manchester United will add top-quality strength to their ailing squad with someone who knows the Premier League. Mata will leave the club where, despite being voted Player of the Year for the past two seasons, the manager considers him surplus to requirements.
That said, it must be emphasised that despite being sidelined by the manager, at no point has Mata asked for a move and waited for the club to tell him he could leave before entering negotiations with United.
It’s also, potentially, another masterstroke from that wiliest of foxes, Mourinho, whose side have already played Manchester United twice in the league this season.
He is also aware of the fact that Manchester City and Arsenal still have to meet them and that a United side with Mata in their ranks will be more likely to take points off his main rivals for the title than one without him.
But Chelsea are not about to give away the talented attacking midfielder, and there’s still some midnight oil to be burnt and many numbers to be crunched before the fat lady bursts into song. However, there's not a whole lot left to be done.
Chelsea are asking for £40 million or a deal that will include Wayne Rooney; not surprisingly, United feel that £40 million is excessive and are adamant that their striker is going nowhere (The Guardian).
The bad news for Manchester United is that there is no one of Mata’s quality available on the market at the moment, and if they want him, then they’ll probably have to offer close to his salary at Chelsea.
And despite Moyes' reluctance to spend big, he knows the acquisition of Mata is a no-brainer, because players of his caliber don’t come up that often.
Moyes will look to play him at No. 7, 11 or 10 because it’s becoming increasingly clear that, despite his efforts to do so, Rooney cannot do everything and is a much better player when he limits what he does.
He will be much more effective as a No. 9 or 10 playing alongside Mata, a player who will do many of the jobs that Rooney is currently trying to perform.
For Mata, it will mean a chance to return to the Premier League stage that has missed him so much.