If we know one thing about Jose Mourinho, it’s that he’s not Juan Mata’s biggest fan.
The Portuguese manager sold Mata while at Chelsea, only to inherit him in his Manchester United squad two years later.
When Jose was announced as United boss, everyone feared for Mata’s future, and expected him to be sold, with former club Valencia and Everton interested in the Spaniard.
But in a shocking turn of events, Mourinho has told Mata that he can stay at Old Trafford, providing he accepts a squad rotation role.
With the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay, Wayne Rooney and Adnan Januzaj all competing for a starting spot behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Mata will have to hit the ground running if he is to force his way into the team.
Mourinho prefers his players to be positional specialists, and doesn’t tend to like players who can play more than one position, so the number 10 role is likely to be where Mata gets his chance.
But given Wayne Rooney is most likely to start the season there, it could be a while before the 28-year-old gets a game.
It’s hard to believe a guy as nice as Juan would turn down a chance to stay at United, although if he does, there is still interest from Everton, who could provide him with a reunion with Ronald Koeman – his former coach at Valencia.
Whatever happens, it’s nice to see the diminutive Spaniard not bombed out of another club without being given a chance to impress.