Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata has shrugged off rumours that linked him with a move away from Old Trafford in the summer, insisting he never discussed his future with manager Jose Mourinho.
Jose Mourinho’s appointment as Manchester United boss in May had put the spotlight on Spain international Juan Mata. Citing Mata’s exit from Chelsea in 2014 when Mourinho was still in charge of the West London outfit, several reports had tipped the Spaniard to leave Old Trafford as soon as the Portuguese’s arrival at the club was confirmed.
Anything other than a departure was touted to demote Mata to the bench at United, akin to the period before his departure from Chelsea. However, it has been anything but a tumultuous time for the Spanish midfielder, having played a key role for the Red Devils so far this season.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Mata dismissed the rumours in the summer as nothing but speculation that shouldn’t have been paid heed to. He also added that he never spoke to Mourinho about his future at Manchester United, saying: “No. It all goes naturally.”
He added: “Obviously people want to know what is happening inside football or try to imagine what is happening inside but most of the time what happens inside is more normal than people think. Sometimes it is not even a conversation. It is training and training and training, playing and speaking through football, speaking through the ball, and I like that.”
Mata also expressed his annoyance at the rampant speculation in the months leading up to the end of the summer transfer window, before going on to add that he always felt the love of the fans at the club.
“It gets to you because even if you don’t read them [the newspapers] then a friend or a family member calls you and says, ‘what is this, what is that, are you moving here, are you moving there? I was and am very happy in the team. I feel important in the team and that is it. I feel loved from the fans and the rest is speculation.”
Mata has been a key figure for Jose Mourinho this season, featuring 15 times in all competitions having slowly established himself in his preferred role as a number 10. He has scored three goals so far, the most significant of which came in the fourth round EFL Cup win over Manchester City in October.