• Premier League

Mata focused despite exit talk

ESPN staff
June 19, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »

Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata insists he is solely concentrating on playing football amid transfer speculation that he could make a move away from Stamford Bridge.

The 25-year-old has been influential since his 2011 switch from Valencia, winning successive Player of the Year awards and also featuring in last season's Premier League Team of the Year.

However, with the reinstallation of Jose Mourinho as Blues manager, Mata has been linked with a departure from West London and has reportedly attracted the interest of Spanish champions Barcelona.

Mata, who is currently on international duty with Spain at the Confederations Cup, rubbished talk he was set for an exit from the club and with his nation facing Tahiti on Thursday, he is completely focused on playing football.

"Obviously it's tough, talking about it physically, but I don't feel down, I still feel fresh and all I want is to play as many games as I can," Mata said.

"I really enjoyed this season. It was a tough and long for us, but at the end we won a trophy so it was good.

"I really love to play with my national team, so all I can do is train and look forward to playing, because I love to play football."

Mata is not the only Chelsea player to be linked with Barca, as compatriot Fernando Torres has recently played down reports of a summer return to Spain.

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