Juan Mata has insisted he did not hear referee Mark Clattenburg say anything during Chelsea’s 3-2 home loss to Manchester United.
The referee continues to be investigated for allegedly using an ‘inappropriate’ racial term against John Obi Mikel in the most controversial match played in the Premier League this term.
Originally the Blues issued two complaints against the match official, one for inappropriate comments made against the Nigerian midfielder and a second for something believed to have been said to the Spaniard himself, only for the latter to be withdrawn.
Mata has now admitted he did not hear Clattenburg mutter anything at all, but reminded people that the matter is being handled by the club and the English FA.
Speaking to AS, Mata said: “I didn’t hear anything, but it’s an issue that Chelsea and even the FA are already considering. I repeat that I didn’t hear anything though.”
The Real Madrid youth product also spoke about the financial plight of his former club Valencia, the issue that saw him end up in England, and said had he and other players affected, such as David Villa and David Silva had their way, they would not have left the Spanish outfit.
He added: “I think if it was a comfort matter. We all would have chosen to stay in Spain. I was great at Valencia, but there is a moment when you need different challenges and you must be brave.”
Mata also noted that in Britain, Spanish players are made to feel important by the questions asked of them in the changing room, with much conversation revolving around the styles of play in his homeland.
“Spanish players feel admired here in UK,” he added. “They usually ask me in the dressing room how come the national team plays that way, or Barcelona or Real Madrid.”