Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is reportedly intent on retaining Juan Mata and Daley Blind for this season. The duo were both linked with moves away from Old Trafford in the aftermath of Mourinho's appointment, but the Portuguese boss has apparently been impressed by their attitudes and performance on the training ground.
Until recently, it was widely speculated that Mata and Blind would be shipped out of the club on account of their lack of size and athleticism. They were among a four-strong group of senior players, which also included Marcos Rojo and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who were deemed to be surplus to requirements at United.
Mata has attracted interest from Everton in the Premier League, while Blind has been linked with a move to Inter Milan, where his old Ajax boss Frank de Boer recently became new manager. Both players command high salaries at Old Trafford and Mourinho could raise further transfer finds if he opted to move them on. But on the back of their professional approach since the start of the campaign, the United boss has reportedly performed a transfer U-turn and will now retain them.
Mata was, famously, sold by Mourinho to United during his second spell in charge of Chelsea. But a source close to the player has revealed that, contrary to popular belief, Mourinho is a fan of the diminutive Spaniard. "Jose loves the guy," a close friend told The Daily Record. "He works well and is a good player. Maybe not for 90 minutes, but very good for 60 minutes."
The same cannot be said of Rojo or Schweinsteiger, according to the Daily Record. The duo have been informed they are free to find new clubs, with the Argentine having already rejected a money-spinning offer from a club in the Chinese Super League. Schweinsteiger has not featured for United this season, while Rojo was an unused substitute in their 3-1 victory against Bournemouth on Sunday (14 August).