Arsenal manager critical of Chelsea for selling Mata to Manchester United
Chelsea have already played Red Devils twice this season, meaning they won’t line up against the Spanish midfielder
January 24th, 2014
Juan Mata is poised to sign for Manchester United and Arsene Wenger is cynical of the motives behind Chelsea selling a prize asset to another Premier League giant, with the £37million move expected to go through over the next couple of days.
Mata has been played sparingly by Jose Mourinho this season and the Spaniard will now leave Stamford Bridge to become a key piece in Manchester United’s jigsaw, with the 25-year-old set to make his debut against Cardiff City next Tuesday.
However, the Arsenal manager feels as though there are a couple of ulterior motives behind Chelsea’s decision to sell Mata to United, with the Blues having already faced the Red Devils home and away this season although Manchester City and Arsenal both have games coming up against the champions.
Wenger also feels that Financial Fair Play has been considered and that the sale of the player will help Chelsea balance their books, although Mourinho’s comments after that recent 3-1 win against United that he hopes the latter finish in the top four have not gone unnoticed.
“He [Mourinho] sums up what Chelsea’s thinking is,” Wenger said, with regard to Mata.
“I am surprised because Juan Mata is a great player and they sell a great player to a direct opponent,” Wenger said. “It opens [up] again a little bit the opportunity of this transfer market because Chelsea had already played twice against Man United so they don’t play again. They could have sold him last week [before the United game].
“It opens, at least, the opportunity of the dates of this transfer window. Some teams have already played twice against one opponent and some others, not. If you want to respect the fairness for everybody exactly in the game, that should not happen. I just think you would want everybody on the same level. I can understand completely what Chelsea is doing. They do not do the rules but, maybe, the rules should be a bit more adapted to more fairness.”
Wenger previously tried to sign Mata in 2011 before Chelsea beat Arsenal to the player’s signature and he completed a move from Valencia to Stamford Bridge. The Frenchman feels as though the Blues might end up regretting the sale.
“They could,” he said. “I don’t think about Man United like you think about Man United. It’s a short moment in their history and I don’t see Man United as a club in decline. This can happen to any big club but they will come up again, don’t worry.”