Football managers have never been the most sensible of sorts. Case in point, Arsene Wenger.
The Juan Mata to Manchester United transfer appears to be a done deal. David Bond and Ben Smith of BBC Sport reported that United and Chelsea have agreed to terms. The transfer would be worth around £37 million, with Mata signing a four-and-a-half-year contract.
Speaking of the transfer, Wenger sounded a bit delusional, per the Daily Mail's Sami Mokbel:
"I am surprised by the move because Juan Mata is a great player and they sell a great player to a direct opponent," said Wenger.
“But it opens a little bit the opportunity of this transfer market because Chelsea have already played twice against Manchester United so they don’t play again any more.
“They could have sold him last week (before Chelsea played United). Some teams have already played twice against one opponent and some not. I think if you want to respect the fairness for everybody that should not happen.”
It's hard to figure out where to start with this. There's so much of it that's asinine and hypocritical.
Bleacher Report UK put it best:
Arsene Wenger isn't pleased that Chelsea are selling Juan Mata to a direct rival: pic.twitter.com/fj4FwlGAZ6— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) January 23, 2014
This is the same Arsene Wenger who sold Robin van Persie to Manchester United. In fact, plenty of stars have left for other Premier League teams under Wenger's watch, whether it's Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor going to Manchester City or Ashley Cole heading across town to Chelsea.
Perhaps you could argue that Wenger's hand was forced when he sold all of those players. They wanted out, and Arsenal had no other choice but to sell them to other Premier League title contenders.
But it's not as if Jose Mourinho has a wealth of options at his disposal. There's no way Mata will want to stay at Stamford Bridge for the rest of the season if he's going to play as little as he has been. It's a World Cup year, so it's imperative that Mata get regular first-team football so as to have a chance of making it in the loaded Spain squad that's headed for Brazil.
Chelsea received a fair offer from Manchester United, and they're going to take it.
In 2011, the Blues paid a reported £23.5 million to Valencia in order to buy Mata, so if the £37 million fee is accurate, the club is still making a nice profit.
What Arsene said in the second part of his statement regarding when the transfer should happen makes a little more sense.
Once the season begins, you shouldn't be able to buy or sell players. The January transfer window should be abolished, and the summer deadline moved back a few weeks. Either that or eliminate it altogether. It's not as if players or agents honor any sort of deadline when it comes to agitating for moves.
For now, though, there's nothing to stop Chelsea from waiting until whenever they want to accept United's bid and ultimately sell Mata. If that point is after the Blues play the Red Devils, then so be it. You can't blame Mourinho for wanting to avoid playing Mata for the rest of the season.
Imagine the headlines had Mata moved to United and then burned the Blues when the two clubs met last Sunday.
The selling club isn't forced into upholding any sort of fairness regarding the rest of the league.
Like Wenger would do anything else under the same circumstances.