Reports: Juventus interested in Manchester United star
What’s the story?
Serie A Champions Juventus are keen to lure Juan Mata to Italy as the Manchester United star has entered the last year of his current contract. Accordingly, Mata would be allowed to speak to non-Premier League clubs from January. Juventus are waiting for the Spaniard to see off his deal and join them for free next summer.
In case you didn’t know…
Mata joined United from Chelsea in January 2014 for what was a then club-record transfer fee. He was the key figure of the team under the tutelage of David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal. However, ever since Jose Mourinho took over, Mata has been given more of a squad role as such. He has so far scored two goals this season and has started United’s last three matches.
The heart of the matter
Mata has undergone a renaissance under Jose Mourinho’s management as the former Valencia player now finds himself to be an integral part of the dressing room. Apparently, Mourinho was one of the driving forces behind Mata’s departure from Chelsea as the Portuguese did not fancy him during their time together at Stamford Bridge.
Now, Mata is a calming influence behind the scenes and has been given important roles in crucial matches this season. He initiated United’s spectacular comeback victory against Newcastle United with a beautifully crafted free-kick. Then, he was mightily impressive in their unlucky draw away from home against Chelsea a week ago.
The 30-year-old has developed a warm bond with the Old Trafford faithful and is a fan favourite at the moment. He actually wants to extend his stay at United and according to Evening Standard, Mata is hoping that Juventus’ interest would force the club to panic and offer him a new deal. The manager, understandably, wants the same to happen.
Mata is one of the most creative, intelligent and wily footballers in European football.
Rumor Rating/Probability: 5/10
While the player and the manager’s intentions are quite clear, it remains to be seen whether Ed Woodward reacts quickly to this situation or not. Juventus are known to make smart deals and transfers.
They have lured the likes of Paul Pogba, Patrice Evra, Sami Khedira, Dani Alves and Emre Can for free transfers in the past and it is worth to be noted that they could well be monitoring Mata’s situation at Old Trafford currently. There would be further clarity on this issue in the coming two months.
Manchester United are preparing to face AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium this weekend. Mata could well be a part of the playing XI against Eddie Howe’s team after an impressive display in the victory against Everton on Sunday.