The Motivation Behind The Mata Move

Created on Jan. 24, 2014 3:07 PM EST

Jose Mourinho has authorized the sale of Juan Mata to Manchester United. 

Are you kidding me Jose?

I’ve been telling friends for many a week that I believe Juan Mata is a player to build a team around. That Mou is off his rocker for not integrating him into his side.  That breaking up the three amigos – Eden Hazard, Oscar and Mata - would and should never happen.

It has happened.

For Chelsea, and Mourinho, to offload a player so young in age, Mata is 25-years-old, and so clearly gifted (20 goals and 35 assists in all competitions last year) to a direct rival seems utter lunacy.

Many questions arise.

Doesn’t Mou remember that David Moyes built a perennial top-half of the league team around a creative Spaniard, and little else, once before

Does Mou really believe that United are buried not only this year but for many years to come? 

Did he make the move to win the title this season?

Mou has stated that he wants to stay at Chelsea for a decade so this transfer raises many questions and loads of speculation.

What is Jose’s motivation behind letting Mata go to Chelsea – let’s plod through three possibilities?

1.  Wayne Rooney.  We keep hearing that Rooney is not involved in the Mata deal. I find it hard to believe that a player Mourinho has enquired about, is in great need of, AND who was apparently fit in a previous Capital One Cup match but didn’t play, isn’t somehow a part of this deal.  Moyes and Rooney have had their issues – well documented.  Rooney has ruffled feathers at Man U and even handed in a transfer request at one point.  He will not want to miss out on the Champions League next season – and even if United go on a spending spree this window and make a climb into the top four -- I don’t think Rooney stays.  Don’t be surprised to see Rooney in Chelsea gear next season.

 2.  Roman Abramovich told Mou to cut the wage bill and cut the fat.  Chelsea reported close to a £50 million financial loss back in December.  If Mata wasn’t a Mou guy – or ever going to be one – maybe this was a tip of the hat to Financial Fair Play.  Maybe this was done to sign an unnamed striker (Rooney?).  Well, Radamel Falcao is no longer said striker after tearing his ACL.  My guess is Mou and Chelsea will be ringing Jackson Martinez’s agent’s cell phone in the next few hours.

3.  Ego driven.  Mou said it’s my way or the highway.  Consecutive Player of The Year awards don’t mean Jack to Joe.  Work to get back behind the ball, apply pressure, and cover balance or ride the pine all the way out the doors of Stamford Bridge.  There is no ego on the world football landscape that covers as much terrain as Mou’s does.  An ego like Mou’s might have been saying, "this player doesn’t buy into what I have to offer; well then go, go to a direct rival, go to hell, come show me I was wrong, you are nothing, you are not a man."

The real reason behind letting Mata go to Manchester United may not be fully know until this summer. 

Understanding the Moutivation behind the move has left me scratching my head… 

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