Chelsea winger Juan Mata has definitively dismissed speculation surrounding his future by insisting he will remain at Chelsea. The Spain international reveals that he is happy at the club and excited by the prospect of working with Jose Mourinho next season.
"I was so relaxed about all the speculation about me leaving," Mata was quoted saying in Daily Mail. "I spoke to the club and spoke to the manager who said I was very important to them. So there's nothing to say about it."
The reassurance from Mourinho was important for Mata as it made him realise his importance to the club moving forward.
"It's always very good to hear you are important to the club," he explained. "Everyone wants to feel they are important. So I'm very happy. I'm training with the new manager and we want to improve on last season."
The Spaniard also spoke of the Chelsea squad, in particular the bond he is forming with the players. Mata formed a great understanding with Eden Hazard and Oscar last season and the player believes that there could be a similar connection with new signing Andre Schurrle and Kevin De Bruyne, who returns to the club after a period on loan.
"When you are playing more and more with your team-mates, you get more of a connection," Mata continued. "Players like Hazard and Oscar came last season and this summer there is De Bruyne and Schurrle. All we need is the connection."
After a successful campaign last season with manager Rafael Benitez, Chelsea's future progress has been entrusted to Jose Mourinho who won two Premier League titles and an FA Cup in his first stint at the club (2004-2007).
"I'm really looking forward to starting the season with him, we're all really excited," Mata said. "Jose did a great job here a few years ago and I think we can do it again."
"Every manager is different and has his own kind of work," he continued. "But in terms of intensity, the training sessions are so high under the new manager. And the plan is to put that level of intensity into the games as well to make us competitive.'
After a season that consisted over 60 games, Mata traveled to Spain for the Confederations Cup this summer. As a result, he was given an additional four weeks off, missing Chelsea's tour of Asia. The player has returned with the squad to take part in the International Champions Cup held in the United States. Mata reveals that the time off was well needed after five years of persistent playing.
"I've had a long two years? I've had a long five or six years!" he said. "I can't remember the last time I had four weeks off. It was needed. When you have a season where you played more than 60 games - you have to rest for a month."