Mourinho sorry to see Mata leave

Updated: 2014-01-26 07:32

By Reuters in London(China Daily)

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Jose Mourinho said he was sad to see midfielder Juan Mata leaving Stamford Bridge after confirming on Friday that the Spaniard's move to Manchester United was imminent.

United is expected to complete a club record deal, reported to be $61.5 million, for playmaker Mata who has found first-team opportunities hard to come by since Mourinho's return.

"It is a good offer. Respectful to us, respectful to the value of the player. That allows us to try to bring other players because we need another player," Mourinho told a news conference.

"Sooner rather than later things will be finalized.

"I asked him when the offer comes are you really happy to go and he was saying yes, he was really happy to go. After that we could feel mixed emotions.

"We are happy he goes to a fantastic situation but we are all sad as well and some of him was a bit the same."

"No one is jumping about because Juan is leaving. We all like him a lot and we can't say you can only go if you go to Russia, to China, to France or Portugal.

"I don't know if Chelsea supporters globally would be happy with that because we are an open club."

Since joining from Valencia for in August 2011 Mata has twice been voted Player of the Year at Stamford Bridge but has slipped below Eden Hazard, Willian and Oscar in the midfield pecking order this season.

"It is a good move for Juan, it's good for the Premier League and the offer was right. We hope Juan does well. We are convinced he will do well. No fears for us."

Mourinho also said he was confident the deal to sign Basel's Egyptian playmaker, Mohamed Salah, would be finalized but said the club would not be buying another striker in the transfer window despite Fernando Torres being injured.

He also said Ghana midfielder Michael Essien "could go or stay" in January.

"Essien is at this moment in a position where he can stay or go. If he stays fantastic. He is a fantastic clubman, team player, so if he stays it's fantastic.

"But if a great situation arrives for him, for his future, in relation to him going to the World Cup, or a few more years contract at a high level, we must show him the respect."

(China Daily 01/26/2014 page11)