Juan Mata Discusses Chelsea Future After Summer Transfer Rumours

Ben BlackmoreFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2013

Chelsea’s reigning Player of the Year, Juan Mata, has clarified that he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge, although he also took the chance to remind Jose Mourinho he needs to play regularly.

Mata became arguably the greatest mystery of the summer transfer window after playing only 65 minutes in Chelsea’s opening three matches, but told Chelsea TV via Sky Sports he is happy to stay:

I think it's normal in every transfer window that there are lots of rumours but I'm happy here.

It's been a very, very good two seasons for me here, maybe the best of my career, and what I want this season is the same.

I'm looking forward to achieving as many trophies as we did the last two seasons (Champions League and FA Cup 2012, Europa League 2013) and hopefully this is going to be a good season for us again.

Mata was integral to the Chelsea side that qualified for Champions League football and won the Europa League last season, contributing 21 goals and 29 assists for club and country across the campaign.

However, unease began to surround the London club early in the transfer window when it was reported, per the Express, that Mourinho might offer the Spaniard as a makeweight in the proposed deal to bring Wayne Rooney to Chelsea.

That transfer did not formalise but the rumours surrounding Mata refused to go away, with Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and PSG all linked before the Sept. 2 deadline, per the Daily Star.

Mata did not feature in the opening game against Hull, nor the high-profile showdown with Manchester United, but the player remains calm about his status at the club.

Has it been hard for me to focus on my football with all the speculation? For me it's not, if you have things clear in your mind and have belief in yourself.

My only aim is to play here, grow as a player and do as good a season as the last two, which were amazing for me.

These two seasons have flown by, but to me this is good because when you are enjoying things and you are happy, time goes quicker.

Mata’s situation is complicated by the signings Chelsea made over the summer, introducing Andre Schurrle and Willian to a squad already boasting attacking midfielders in Eden Hazard, Oscar, Kevin de Bruyne and the recently loaned-out Victor Moses.

Regular football will be a struggle for Mata this season, particularly if the early fixtures are any indication, and he confessed he needs to play often if he is to produce his best form.

For me the best thing is to play as much as I can because I love to play, I love playing at the weekend and in the middle of the week. If you are having a lot of games during the season, maybe the training is the games.

A thigh injury has been part of the reason for Mata’s restricted involvement so far, but he insists he is fully fit to play upon the completion of the current international break.

I'm feeling really good. I had four weeks off [ahead of pre-season training] and to be honest that's too much time for me because in the last five or six years I didn't have this amount of rest.

But it was good to rest, to be far from football and to get ready because I think it's going to be a long season again. Can I play 70 games again like last year? It depends on every player.

Chelsea’s next game takes them to Everton on Sept. 14.