Jose Mourinho has hit back at his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger for saying that Mata’s proposed move to Manchester United raises questions concerning the fairness of the January transfer window.
The Portuguese boss confirmed the Spanish midfielder will join United after Chelsea agreed a £37m fee with the Premier League champions on Thursday.
“Things are going in a good direction. We have allowed Juan to travel and have the medical.
“The player deserves respect and to play and because the offer is right, we allowed him to negotiate.”
Mata is expected to arrive in Manchester on Friday for his medical.
Wenger had said Mata’s move to United “opens up questions about the dates of this transfer window“, but Mourinho believes the Stamford Bridge outfit have not compromised the nature of the January transfer window.
“Wenger complaining is normal, he always does. But when a player plays for a club on 20 August and then on 5 September plays for a different club this is normal. This is the market,” Mourinho explained.
“If Wenger sold Mesut Ozil to Manchester United I would be happy because they are losing a very important player, like we are with Juan, but this is his nature.”
Mata, who has scored 18 times in 82 league appearances for the club on his way to being voted Chelsea’s official player of the year for the past two seasons since joining from Valencia for £23.5m in August 2011, has found it difficult to earn a starting role for himself under the former Real Madrid boss.
Mata has been substituted in nine of his 13 league appearances for the Blues, while playing second fiddle to the likes of Oscar, summer signing Willian and Belgian, Eden Hazard, so far in the ongoing campaign.
Mourinho continued: “I think this club is a special club and it cares for people. It is very respectful of its players and especially those who wrote history and Juan is one of these.
“He was fantastic for Chelsea and Chelsea was fantastic for him. We are not afraid he is going there to do very well. We want him to go there and be happy.”
“I asked him when the offer came whether he really was happy to go and he said ‘yes, I am really happy to go’. After that we could feel mixed emotions.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for him. Another big club wants him in the country he want to stay in, has made the right offer for him, so, although lots of clubs feel you should not sell to rivals, we are different.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea will not sign off Mata’s transfer to Manchester until they have completed the acquisition of another attacking midfielder Mohammed Salah from FC Basle.
The Blues have agreed a deal for Salah, but the 21-year-old Egyptian must still accept personal terms, undergo a medical and receive a work permit.
That process may extend the formal completion of his transfer formalities by at least two more days, which will delay the conclusion of Mata’s move to United.
“We know he (Salah) wants to come, he told me personally but now it is terms and medical he has to pass,” added the Blues boss.
“We were not prepared to replace Juan in the squad, so things [with Salah] moved very fast.”