Jose Mourinho sees no reason why Barclays Premier League clubs should not sell players to their domestic rivals after sanctioning Juan Mata’s imminent move to Manchester United.
United have agreed a deal for Mata, Chelsea’s player of the year for the last two seasons, with the switch to be finalised once Mohamed Salah’s move from Basle to Stamford Bridge is completed.
Mourinho insists he would have sold Mata to any of Chelsea’s rivals, including Arsenal, whose manager Arsene Wenger was critical of the deal, if the move was right for the player and the club.
“A team can only play with 11 players, not 12,” Mourinho said.
“Arsenal is full of top players, City is full of top players, and United is full of top players, so if Juan plays for them it means somebody else is not playing.
“So why not? Every club does this in other countries, so what’s the problem to do it here?
“If a similar situation happens (and) instead of us, instead of Man United, it’s Arsenal or Manchester City or Tottenham or Liverpool, we would do the same.”
Chelsea twice had bids for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney rejected in the summer.
Asked if the Mata move might earn Chelsea a favour in negotiations for Rooney, Mourinho said: “I don’t think so. But I don’t speak about Rooney.”