Chelsea FC Manager Jose Mourinho has defended his decision to sell Juan Mata to Manchester United.

Jose MourinhoJuan Mata has been the talk of the town lately as his much talked about move to Manchester United left a lot in surprise and dismay. The Spaniard has been Chelsea’s most consistent player since his arrival at Stamford Bridge, but struggled to earn a place in the starting line under Jose Mourinho, who preferred Oscar in the role of a play-maker. Despite talks of unrest and Mata’s desire to leave the club in search of regular first team football, few would have imagined that Jose Mourinho will agree to sell him to the Premier League rival Manchester United, midway through the season. Although United are no longer considered to be in the title race this season, the arrival of Mata could produce a massive positive impact on the club and propel them forward. Both Arsene Wenger and Manuel Pellegrini have expressed their surprise at this move, but Jose Mourinho has defended his decision and doesn’t think that selling to a Premier League rival is such a big issue.

“A team can only play with 11 players, not 12. Arsenal is full of top players, City is full of top players, and United is full of top players, so if Juan plays for them it means somebody else is not playing.

“So why not? Every club does this in other countries, so what’s the problem to do it here?

“If a similar situation happens (and) instead of us, instead of Man United, it’s Arsenal or Manchester City or Tottenham or Liverpool, we would do the same.

“If the offer was the same and Juan desired to go, it would be the same.” – The Chelsea manager told the press.

Mourinho also refused to dwell on reports which suggested that this move could improve Chelsea’s chances of signing Wayne Rooney in the summer.

“I don’t think so. But I don’t speak about Rooney. He’s a Man United player, but I don’t think so.” – he added.

The Portuguese manager also understands why Mata wanted this move in this World Cup year and accepted that despite their efforts to find a solution for Mata in the side, the stability of the current team didn’t allow any change.

“It was a process, a difficult process for him, and not easy for me.

“It’s difficult for me to leave him out of the team. It’s difficult for me to decide that Oscar is going to be my number 10 and that I’m going to build my team around that decision.

“And it’s difficult for him to accept the situation. He’s a player with status.

“He was behaving amazingly well, an example for the other boys to follow, but no happiness. With that status, it’s difficult.

“Man United is obviously a big club, and when a player is not happy in this moment at Chelsea, but he loves to be in the Premier League and wants to stay in the Premier League and he thinks about the World Cup and about playing regularly every game, and he sees the stability our team has at the moment with Willian, with Oscar, with Eden (Hazard), he thought about leaving.

“He’s tried to find the best option for him and he decided to go to United, which is understandable.” – Mourinho explained.