Transfer news: Chelsea prepared to sell Juan Mata to Manchester United for fee in excess of £40m

Jose Mourinho must still give his approval, but that is looking increasingly likely

Chelsea are prepared to sell Juan Mata to Manchester United this week for more than £40m with a deal close and now just requiring a final seal of approval from Jose Mourinho who has, thus far, agreed the player can go.

As of last night, Chelsea were still discussing their final course of action but there is an acknowledgement that the situation the club finds itself in, with a big-name player frustrated and out the team, cannot be allowed to continue.

There have been inquiries for Mata from Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, as well as a longstanding interest from Tottenham Hotspur, but none of those clubs have come close to offering the kind of deal that United will propose. Chelsea rate Mata, who has two further seasons on his contract, as of similar value to Mesut Ozil who cost Arsenal more than £42m in the summer.

The ultimate decision will rest with Mourinho, who could yet veto the move this month. However, Mourinho recognises that Mata's recent failure to get any first team game-time - he has not played since reacting angrily to being substituted against Southampton on 1 January - has caused tension behind the scenes at the club.

The player himself is unhappy, although not disruptive. Mourinho is aware that keeping the player on the bench in his current role as an understudy to the Brazilian Oscar is not a long-term option. While in an ideal world, Chelsea would keep the 25-year-old, the respect for Mata at the club means they accept that may not be possible.

At £40-45m, Mata would be United's record signing. Chelsea are also aware of the pressures of Uefa financial fair play compliance. In their last accounts Chelsea said that they will comply with FFP, over the most recent monitoring period, keeping losses within the limit of 45m euros (£37.5m).

Since then they have made a net spend with the acquisition of Nemanja Matic offset by the sale of Kevin De Bruyne. Allowing Mata to leave would give them some scope to spend. In the event of a sale, they plan either to sign cover this window or promote a member of the academy squad as cover.

Is Mata right for Manchester United? The case for and against

Who else might Manchester United be keen on signing?

Relates articles...
United monitoring Dante - and he would be interested, reveals agent
Mata would not fit United's philosophy - Gary Neville
It looks bad for Moyes right now, but remember Rodgers at Liverpool
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album