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Mourinho: Mata going nowhere

ESPN staff
August 23, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Juan Mata returned to Chelsea's starting line-up for their 2-1 win over Aston Villa © Getty Images
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Jose Mourinho is adamant that Juan Mata will not be leaving Chelsea, amid speculation that Manchester United are looking to make him their first major summer singing.

Mata has seen his place in the Chelsea team come under threat this summer, with Mourinho signing Andre Schurrle and opting not to send Kevin de Bruyne out on loan.

It was De Bruyne who started ahead of Mata in Chelsea's Premier League opener against Hull last weekend, though Mata was restored to the starting lineup for the 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Wednesday.

But Chelsea look likely to further add to their array of attacking talent with the potential signing of Willian, meaning Mata may find that he cannot be guaranteed first-team football at Stamford Bridge.

Mata was also rumoured to have been mooted as part of a potential swap deal for Wayne Rooney, whom Chelsea continue to chase, but Mourinho stated he is going nowhere.

"No speculation, no speculation," said Mourinho. "He's a player we all like, he's a player we all want to keep. We want more quality in the team, we don't want less quality.

"We want to add quality to the quality we have. So Juan is not a player we want to lose.

"The point is not to sell, the point is I want a 22-player squad. So if somebody comes... Do we need to sell? No, we don't.

"Do we need to loan, probably yes because I don't like to work with big squads, I like to work with a small group of players and I think 22 is a perfect number to answer to our needs in four different competitions, and at the same time to leave the door open for some kids to come out and train with us, to be selected in a few matches."

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