Jose Mourinho has insisted he was not responsible for Juan Mata’s Chelsea exit and never considered selling him when he arrived at Manchester United.
Mata was deemed surplus to requirements at Chelsea in January 2014 despite being named the club’s player of the year for the previous two campaigns, and moved north to United for a reported £37.1million fee.
There were suggestions Mourinho had offloaded the Spain international and that his arrival at United could see the same happen again.
However, the United boss says it was never the case and he believes Mata fits into his philosophy at Old Trafford better than he did at Stamford Bridge.
“First of all I didn’t sell him,” he told a media conference. “My job is not buy and sell.
“My job is to coach, to work on the pitch and to advise my board about the transfer policy.
“Secondly, it was Juan that asked to leave and when a player asks to leave I think always you have to think twice.
“And the third point is that my idea for football with the squad and objectives we had at Chelsea is one thing, and the squad I have at Man United and the profile and what I try to do with this club is a completely different situation.
“So Juan at Chelsea in my project was one player, and Juan in my project at Man United is another thing.
“We were playing in a defensive block when we won the title in 2014-15, and it’s one thing players for that and another players trying to play in a different way and we are trying to play in a different way.
“He is very adaptive with his qualities. He has found a very good natural habitat with us.”
Since arriving at United, Mata has made 111 appearances in all competitions, scoring 28 goals and winning one major piece of silverware – the FA Cup last season.