Contrary to what the Spanish media would have us believe, Juan Mata will remain at Chelsea
Ever since Jose Mourinho was reappointed the manager of Chelsea, Spanish papers have been running stories of how Mata doesn’t fit into his plans and the Portuguese manager is ready to offload him to Spain. However, after days of mindless speculation, the man himself decided to clear the air.
“I don’t know where that came from. The last time I spoke with the club they told me I was a very important player to them and transmitted confidence in me. I’m sure Mourinho will want to see everyone first and then decide what he wants to do. You have to know people first before you can evaluate them. After the holidays and after I’ve rested, I’ll meet the new boss and I’m sure things will go well.”
“I only have good words for Real Madrid. I was there for four years and they brought me up, both as a player and a person. I have many friends there and I’m very grateful to the club. But I’ve spent two great years in London and the only thing I’m thinking about now is continuing to enjoy this league and this city that I love.”
THT Verdict: Juan Mata is as integral to Chelsea as Lionel Messi is for Barcelona, and Chelsea was never going to sell him in any case. Since his move from Valencia, the Spaniard has been phenomenal for the West London club; and two back-to-back player of the season awards are a testimony to his importance at the club. It is, however, good that the player has come out in the open and given his point of view. Jose Mourinho fielded his team in a 4-2-3-1 system last season; it is a formation that Mata is quite used and can feature either out wide or through his preferred position centrally, pulling the strings from behind the striker. Even if Jose reverts back to 4-3-3, Mata is versatile enough to either play out wide on the wings or operate from a deeper position in midfield. The transfer stories were a hoax and this should be the end of them.
Manchester City turn their attention towards Robert Lewandowski after letting Carlos Tevez leave for Juventus
According to reports, Manchester City are set to replace the departed Carlos Tevez by offering Edin Dzeko to Borussia Dortmund in a player plus cash deal for striker Robert Lewandowski.
The striker is in the final year of his contract and Dortmund stand to lose him for nothing if he doesn’t sign a contract extension soon, so City will look to capitalize on this fact. Earlier in the summer, Lewandowski looked set to join Bayern Munich, following teammate Mario Gotze, but since then the Champions League runners-up have categorically stated that the player will not move to Bayern and will remain at the club.
THT Verdict: Man City are clearly in the market for another striker, going by the sale of Tevez and their interest in Edinson Cavani. Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis was quoted a few days back that City weren’t ready to meet Cavani’s boutout clause of €63m, so their interest in Lewandowski makes sense. Contrary to what they’d maintained, if Dortmund are indeed ready to listen to offers, they will ideally put their player on the market and invite bids from the likes of Real Madrid and Chelsea, the other clubs also on a lookout for a world-class striker. Gonzalo Higuan will leave Madrid in all likelihood, so the Spanish giants are expected to sign one of Cavani, Suarez or Lewandowski.
The centre-forward market is so competitive today that a move by one club can trigger two or more subsequent transfers. Suarez won’t leave Liverpool for another English club, so if he signs for Madrid then City and Chelsea will fight it out for the other two. However, if Madrid sign Cavani, then one of the two English clubs will not be able to bring in a world-class striker of choice this season and as a result, will go all out for Lewandowski.
Suddenly, a man in Madrid, with a raised eyebrow, holds all the cards!