“I asked him (Mata), ‘Are you really happy to go?”’, Mourinho said. “He said, ‘Yes, I’m really happy to go.”’
Juan Mata is on the brink of becoming the most expensive player in Manchester United’s history after Chelsea accepted the Spain midfielder’s request to leave Stamford Bridge.
“We hope he does well. We are convinced he is going to do well. If Man United pays their record for a player, it’s because they know exactly what they want from him. And they know exactly what he can give them.
“If he cannot be fully happy here because he is not playing 100 per cent like he was the last two years, if he has a big club that wants him — even if it’s a rival club and in England — the club decided, and I was on the club’s side for this feeling, that you cannot stop people to be happy,” Mourinho said.
United refused to negotiate with Chelsea in the off-season when Mourinho lodged two bids for Wayne Rooney, who was pushing for a transfer after losing his regular place in United’s team. Mourinho said that hadn’t been a factor in dealing with Mata.
“Would Chelsea supporters be happy if we stop a fantastic person, that they all like, from being happy, if we say you only can go to Russia, China, to France or to Portugal, not England?” Mourinho asked.
“To say now, ‘You cannot go, Juan, to United because United refused in the summer to sell us Wayne Rooney,’ I don’t think it’s fair to Juan. So if they decide not to sell (Rooney, it’s) their decision.”
While United were quiet on Friday on Mata’s likely transfer, Mourinho said: “Things are going in a good direction. Sooner rather than later, things will be finalized.”
The deal would eclipse the £30.1m that United paid to sign striker Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham in 2008.