Despite their history at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho has insisted that Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata has a role to play for him at Old Trafford.
The Spaniard was sold by Mourinho to United in January 2014 after failing to convince his coach that he could fit into his way of playing.
In turn, Mata would have been one of the more nervous individuals in the squad at Old Trafford earlier this summer after it was confirmed that the Portuguese tactician was to replace Louis van Gaal.
However, it appears as though there will be a fresh start for all concerned in Manchester this season, although Mourinho did warn the Spanish midfielder that he isn’t going to be guaranteed a spot in the starting line-up this season.
Given that was a big issue between them at Stamford Bridge, perhaps the situation isn’t entirely resolved and time will tell as to whether or not history will repeat itself.
“I think since the first day everything is clear between us,” said Mourinho, as noted by The Mirror. “There is space for him. He’s a talented player and I don’t promise places to anyone.
“I promise respect and I like him, so if he wants to stay and I think he wants [that]. Until this moment I don’t have one little sign that he wants to leave, so I think he wants to stay and, yes, there is space for him and, yes, I think he can be useful to the club.
“I sold him because he asked for that.
“Nobody in my previous club wanted to sell or push him. No, it was his decision. He was not the first option, but he was playing every game. I never left him out of my selection, out of the 18, but he was on the bench a few times and we had a proposal from a big club like United.”
Mourinho essentially insisted that the offer from United was too good to turn down and that he has never wanted players at his disposal who wish to leave.
In turn, with a clean slate this summer, Mata will be focused on earning his playing time just like every other player in the United squad, with a view of becoming a permanent fixture of Mourinho’s plans moving forward.
If he fails to do so and frustration starts to build once more, then there is still every chance that the 28-year-old will consider his options away from United as with the arrival of the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, competition has increased for places in the final third.