Mata is still hugely popular among the Chelsea fans but he is becoming an increasingly peripheral, and agitated, figure at Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho likes players who work hard and he has reportedly criticised Mata for not tracking back enough and not making enough runs. Mata was substituted on New Year’s Day during a game against Southampton and he made no attempt to hide his disgust at the decision.
Mourinho insists that Mata is not for sale but we all know that there can only be one winner in a war between a player and the Chelsea boss. So where does that leave Mata? At only 25 years old and with a locker full of talent he will be in demand from Europe’s top clubs.
Inter Milan have been sniffing around but I have it on good authority that a deal is close with Diego Simeone’s Atletico that will see him playing his football at the Vicente Calderon Stadium until the end of the season. It will be a loan move at first with the option to make it a permanent transfer at the end of the season.
Chelsea’s loss will be Atletico’s gain – could Mata be the final piece in the jigsaw that will allow Los Colchineros to clinch the La Liga title? Keep visiting www.laligablog.com for all the latest transfer window updates – where you hear the news first!