Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has praised Unai Emery as a 'special' manager amidst reports that the Arsenal manager is lining up a shock move for his former midfielder.
Mata worked with Emery at Valencia for three years before his £23.5m move to Premier League side Chelsea in 2011. The Spaniard has 49 goals and 49 assists in his 8 seasons with Chelsea and Manchester United.
Last week, reports emerged from the Metro that Mata was being targeted by Emery for a move to Arsenal. Mata has reinforced these claims this week, indicating he would be keen to work under Emery in the future, giving a rave review of his old boss.
According to the Daily Star, Emery is a huge admirer of Mata after working with him for several seasons. The Arsenal manager is weighing up the midfielder as an option to add to his squad at the Emirates.
Mata will be out of contract at Manchester United in the summer. The 30-year-old may yet sign a new deal at Old Trafford, but first wants assurances that he will remain a key player for Jose Mourinho.
"I think what’s special about Unai is the way he communicates. In his talks, he used to write three, four or five things on the board: those were the points he was going to bring up," Mata said in 'Unai Emery: El Maestro', an authorised biography set to be published next week (via the Metro).
"Sometimes it was five phrases or metaphors he was going to explain. I’ve never seen that with my other managers.
"They usually revolved around phrases about positivity, camaraderie, the values he wanted to create in his team. He communicated by means of the points he had written down.
His talks could go on and on because he didn’t notice the time, but what he said was always intense, and he would ask you questions."
Mata referred to Emery's managerial tactic talks as a 'seminar' due to his detailed approach and his usage of metaphors and analogies.