It’s a move which has split fans of both clubs right down the middle, with the Old Trafford club rumoured to be readying a record £37m bid to test Jose Mourinho’s resolve.
Would the acquisition of the midfielder strengthen Moyes’ side? Would Chelsea even allow their two-time player of the year to leave Stamford Bridge for a Premier League rival?
By Stuart Hynd – @supers0nic_
Here we take a look at why making Mata a Manchester United player makes sense for all parties concerned:
1) Mata Can Be Man Utd’s Mesut Ozil
It’s no secret that Manchester United are low on confidence at the minute, in fact it wouldn’t be impractical to suggest the Red Devils are in need of a saviour.
However, disenchanted fans need only look at Arsenal’s summer acquisition of Mesut Ozil to see that this move would make sense.
Yes, David Moyes may be blessed with a strong armoury of attacking midfielders (as Arsenal were before they signed Ozil), but this type of big signing will lift the entire squad, as it clearly has at the Emirates with the Gunners leading the Premier League.
Nothing inspires confidence in players like the signing of a world-class player and Mata’s arrival would surely dispel the rumblings that Moyes may struggle to attract big names to Manchester.
2) Can Be A Role Model For United’s Young Squad
Manchester United are in need of a serious overhaul with Sir Alex Ferguson’s old guard all but gone. Many of the club’s experienced heads are nearing the end of their respected careers with Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra all coming in for criticism this year.
But it’s not all doom and gloom as United boast an impressive amount of young talent – Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj and Phil Jones to name just a few.
As most Chelsea fans will be aware, Mata is the kind of player who feeds off his teammates, making them perform better as a result. This signing could be the missing ingredient and could push Moyes’ young players to the next level and thus replace his current leggy side.
3) The Transfer Would Quell Pressure On Moyes
With no one really sure how long David Moyes will be given in the hot-seat to get things right on the pitch, pressure is beginning to mount of the ex-Everton boss. And it’s fair to say recent losses to Sunderland, Swansea, Tottenham and Chelsea haven’t exactly inspired an already-agitated United support.
The signing of Mata would give Moyes the one thing he needs – the time to get his house in order.
The spotlight would surely change course, focussing on Mata’s decision to leave Stamford Bridge instead of illuminating Moyes’ faults. This would give the coach a bit of much-needed breathing space.
4) It’s A World Cup Year
On a purely selfish level, Mata needs to leave Chelsea, if just to make it on the plane to Brazil for this summer’s World Cup.
Spain aren’t exactly lacking in the midfield department with Real Madrid’s Isco, Man City’s David Silva and Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas all more than capaable of playing the ‘Mata-role’ in the heart of attack.
With such strong competition for places it seems very unlikely that Spain coach Vicente del Bosque will have room in his side for a player who struggles to make it off the bench every week – a position Mata would surely avoid if he decides to move to United.
5) Chelsea Don’t Need Him
When Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, signed Brazilian attacking-midfielder Willian from under Tottenham noses in the summer, the Special One sent a clear message to his Premier League rivals.
One, that Chelsea were finally back and that few clubs would be able to compete with their riches and two, that Mourinho doesn’t feel there Mata has a future at the club.
Unfortunately it’s taken Mata until now to realise he is out of favour with the manager and his reputation has been on the decline with a lack of matches. The resurgence in form of Eden Hazard has pushed Mata further down the pecking order and with talents like Andre Shurrle and Oscar featuring more readily for the Blues, it’s clear there is no room for the diminutive midfielder at Chelsea.