Recent revelations in the tabloids have reported Juan Mata’s father (and agent) is insisting upon crisis talks with Jose Mourinho regarding his son’s situation at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea fans were left bemused at the start of the season to see the two-time Blues Player of the Year slump down the pecking order in West London and remain relatively absent to first team affairs, with Mourinho later telling reporters that the Spaniard’s lack of defensive work-rate was keeping him out of the starting XI.
At the same time, the Chelsea boss has continually stated that Brazil international Oscar is his first choice of No.10, but even £30million summer signing Willian appears to be taking priority above Mata in central attacking midfield of late.
Not that the 25 year-old’s performances have particularly suggested he should be in Mourinho’s first team plans; he’s found no goals and just two assists in eleven Premier League starts this season, and was particularly anonymous against Southampton on New Years’ day.
With the 2014 World Cup undoubtedly on the Spain international’s mind, and no guarantees over his place in Vincente del Bosque’s squad, an abrupt January departure could be imminent.
No doubt, there’s plenty of potential suitors out there for the playmaking midfielder. Arsenal, Manchester United and Spurs have all been linked with winter moves for Mata since the summer, although an internal Premier League switch seems unlikely.
Therefore, a return to La Liga could be on the cards, with the most likely destinations being Atletico Madrid or former club Valencia.