Juan Mata could complete a remarkably quick move from Chelsea to Manchester United after a medical on Thursday morning after a fee of £37m was reportedly accepted by the Stamford Bridge club late on Wednesday night.
United had just lost on penalties against Sunderland in the Semi Final of the Capital One Cup when news of the transfer bid became known but David Moyes refused to answer questions about transfers on the night.
Mata could be handed the vacant iconic number 7 shirt after Antonio Valencia reverted back to his number 25 shirt at the start of this season.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho had previously said that Mata would be staying with Chelsea as he was wanted and they didn’t want to sell him to direct rivals.
The most recent rumours had suggested that Mata would have to request a transfer to spark a move but Mourinho himself explained why Mata didn’t fit into Chelsea’s new playing style – they now play with attacking midfielders who can work back and tackle and he felt that the likes of Oscar and Eden Hazard were better at fitting into his system than Mata.
This transfer could, in fact, signal a move by Moyes to re-shape a future United side that played a little more like Rafa Benitez’ Chelsea.
Mourinho explained that Benitez’ Chelsea, in which Mata flourished, was more defensive and played with Mata off a main striker and with four midfielders (including wingers) who all worked hard and tracked back.
Could this also explain why Wilfried Zaha, who has barely played under Moyes, might not fit into this vision either and has been allowed to go on loan to Cardiff City pending a medical?
Finally, given the speed at which Chelsea accepted what would be a record bid for a player from Manchester United, could there yet be a hidden clause in the deal involving Wayne Rooney who is yet to sign a contract extension and will end the season with just one more year left on his current deal?
Will Rooney be wearing the blue shirt of Chelsea next summer?