Timeline of Chelsea Fans' Reaction to Juan Mata Manchester United Transfer

Rowanne WesthenryFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14:  (L-R) Juan Mata of Chelsea and Stuart O’Keefe of Crystal Palace challenge for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on December 14, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

The confirmation that Chelsea fans had been dreading came late on Saturday evening, with an announcement on chelseafc.com that Juan Mata had joined Manchester United for a fee of £37 million. The rumours that the playmaker would not remain a Blue for much longer had begun in the summer, but it was the week of 20 January that saw the first concrete indication that he would actually leave.

Chelsea supporters are understandably upset to have lost their two-time Player of the Year, and the fact that he will play for fierce rivals Manchester United only compounds the misery. Here is how events unfolded on Twitter, from the initial rumours on Tuesday, 21 January to the confirmation of the signing late on Saturday.

These kind of reports began to appear on Tuesday:

Chelsea close to agreeing that Juan Mata can go to MUFC. But it'll take a fee close to £42m for a deal to be done http://t.co/4QJ7qAzq4k

— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceIndy) January 21, 2014

They were met with a healthy dose of skepticism:

Does nobody remember when Demba Ba to Arsenal was a done deal until suddenly oops wait never gonna happen?

— Mike L. Goodman (@TheM_L_G) January 22, 2014

Although there was concern that it could actually happen:

if club don't see Utd as short/medium term threat so happy to let Mata go there, they're really tempting fate.Surprised they'd take the risk

— Tim Rolls (@tim_rolls) January 22, 2014

Some people tried to justify the sale, but were quickly shot down:

GET IN THERE!!! #FFP "@timpayton: Mata has a book value at CFC of about £11m. So to sell for £40m is a £29m profit. Important in FFP era"

— SCARFACE CLAW (@CFC_Clive) January 22, 2014

Loving reading people's pitiful justifications for selling Mata.

— SCARFACE CLAW (@CFC_Clive) January 22, 2014

As the momentum behind the story grew on Wednesday, so did concerns about the implications for both clubs:

This is happening, isn't it? Mixed feelings, ultimately have to trust Mourinho, but Mata can be cornerstone to a new United.

— Jack Rathborn (@jackrathborn) January 22, 2014

There was proof that denial is not a river in Egypt:

It would be funny if Mourinho was exacting revenge on #MUFC for rejecting Rooney bids in the summer. #wishfulthinking

— Joe Krishnan (@joekrishnan) January 22, 2014

And that Chelseaa supporters did not see the sense in propping up the ailing Manchester United:

Without mata utd don't get top4 = they lose or can't attract top players = spiral downwards. With mata they get top4 & they remain rivals...

— London is Blue #CFC (@BLUE_BLOOD_CFC) January 22, 2014

There was a healthy dose of melodrama:

It's like the Cuban missile crisis. Once he puts pen to paper, it's all over.

— Nour Agha (@NourAgha) January 22, 2014

And one fan travelled to Stamford Bridge to show off his homemade banner:

pic.twitter.com/kMeDeSzxFz

— Jamie (@NineJamie) January 22, 2014

These guys explained the supporters' pain perfectly:

Been supporting Chelsea since I was 6 or 7 and apart from Zola and Drogba, I haven't taken to a player as much as I have with Juan.

— Daniel Dravot (@DanielDravotCFC) January 22, 2014

The thought of Rio Ferdinand indulging in "bantz" with Juan and calling him a "playa" on Twitter is nothing short of revolting.

— Venkat (@Celeryphile) January 22, 2014

The reason that Chelsea fans are freaking out like crazy is because it's never happened before. We don't sell our best players to rivals.

— White Yaya (@ChelseaFC_Talk) January 22, 2014

Before Manchester United's struggles and eventual defeat in their Capital One Cup semi-final against Sunderland provided some light relief:

"Juan.. Juan you still there?" pic.twitter.com/qxxX1TtVen

— (@BiltonRodney9) January 22, 2014

Mata signing his contract during the penalty shoot out pic.twitter.com/EUcPpg1q5A

— Bizarre Transfers (@BizarreTransfer) January 22, 2014

RING-RING RING-RING "Hi Jose, it's Juan. I'll be in early tomorrow for some tackling training. I fancy some extra running too. Cheers boss"

— The Special John (@bainesyDiego10) January 22, 2014

BREAKING: Juan Mata has officially handed in a transfer request at Manchester United.

— BBC Sporf (@BBCSporf) January 22, 2014

“David Moyes: 'ok Juan, all set for the medical tomorrow?" "No...no....sorry, Juan no here" pic.twitter.com/dtGX6ju2yc

— John NOT Terry (@BigJohnTerry) January 22, 2014

Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea columnist Garry Hayes echoed other writers' struggles:

Dropping 'professional' duties aside for a moment, I have a considerable lump in my throat #cfc

— Garry Hayes (@garryhayes) January 22, 2014

Thursday brought a slow realisation that there was more to this story than just hot air:

It wasn't just a bad dream then.

— ParkedTheBus (@ParkedTheBus) January 23, 2014

The Daily Mash got involved:

Juan Mata joins rat-infested ghost ship http://t.co/jTTAqZLf06

— The Daily Mash (@thedailymash) January 23, 2014

The guys at this parody account gave an insight into Chelsea supporters' homes:

Chelsea Fans Reaction After Seeing Juan Mata to Man Utd ! HAHA, This is EPIC!! http://t.co/L4fMGZcliR

— Football Jokes (@Footy_Jokes) January 23, 2014

It had been reported that Mata would have his medical at United on Thursday:

Sky Sources understand Juan Mata is set for a medical on Thursday ahead of a £37m move from #Chelsea to #mufc. http://t.co/mkyP9p4rED

— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 23, 2014

And hopes were raised when the promised helicopter failed to arrive:

Has Mata's helicopter arrived in Manchester yet? It set off about four hours ago. Should have got the 08.17 from Euston changing at Coventry

— The Special John (@bainesyDiego10) January 23, 2014

The continuing lack of an official announcement left plenty of room for doubt:

Juan Mata latest: Sky Sports News reporter foraging for Bullsh*t outside the Utd training ground. pic.twitter.com/T28GolzpGr

— Paddy Power (@paddypower) January 23, 2014

So Arsene Wenger weighed in, for a change:

I think Jose was on to something when he called Wenger a voyeur | Wenger says "Mata transfer to United is unfair" http://t.co/lMPiAkJJO8

— Frankie (@Frankiee44) January 23, 2014

Then Friday dawned, and Mourinho's weekly press conference got under way. Any hopes that it may have all been a big, unfunny joke were dashed when he spoke frankly about the deal:

Mourinho on Mata: 'We allowed Juan to travel and have a medical at Manchester United'. #CFC

— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) January 24, 2014

Mourinho on Mata: 'He is a fantastic player. In spite of not playing much for us, I still think he could be important for us.' #CFC

— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) January 24, 2014

Mourinho: 'He was fantastic for Chelsea, and Chelsea were fantastic for him.' #CFC

— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) January 24, 2014

Mourinho: If the fans are sad that Juan is leaving, I will say that we are also sad. Noone is jumping around the place.' #CFC

— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) January 24, 2014

With confirmation came despair:

In three years time we might be pondering why we felt the urge to rescue Man U just as they were entering an oblivion spiral.

— BlueTinted Leftback (@BlueTinted_LB) January 24, 2014

And some ingenious creativity:

Thought I'd make the best out of a bad situation, get to keep my Mata top this way #matic21 pic.twitter.com/l8LLSmuLQD

— Rhys Davies (@RhysCFC) January 24, 2014

As well as a few last-minute pleas to Mourinho, Mata and the Chelsea board to make it all stop:

The longer Juan has to think this over, the more likely he is to beg to come back. May miss next Tuesday's game...

— Sid Celery (@sidcelery) January 24, 2014

Go on, Jose. Cancel the deal at the last minute. You know you want to do it.

— Joe Krishnan (@joekrishnan) January 24, 2014

Alas, on Saturday evening it was confirmed:

The transfer of @juanmata10 to Manchester United has been completed. More here: http://t.co/54miS7vWfH #CFC

— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) January 25, 2014

BREAKING: Juan Mata signs his Manchester United contract. pic.twitter.com/5EdkqdpO1v

— BBC Sporf (@BBCSporf) January 25, 2014

And Mata spoke about the situation on his blog for the first time:

Good morning Chelsea fans. A goodbye from @juanmata10... http://t.co/1NfqnWXJqy #CFC

— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) January 26, 2014

Juan Mata's open letter to @ChelseaFC fans. Classy. pic.twitter.com/OEQBVVZ1Sg

— BBC 606 (@bbc606) January 25, 2014

I think that deserves to be the final word, don't you?