Rumours: Juan Mata edges closer to a move to Everton
Juan Mata has been strongly linked with a move to Everton in last 24 hours after it seemed imminent that he is fast losing his place at Manchester United. According to the Telegraph, Mata’s former manager Ronald Koeman is keen to bring him to Goodison Park to kick-start his reign as the Everton manager.
The Telegraph also understands that United have set a price tag of £30 million for the Spaniard and are ready to enter the negotiation with the Toffees. Everton’s current offer stands at £20m but are eager to sign the Spaniard given Koeman’s liking for the player.
Koeman was Valencia’s manager when Mata broke on the scene and played his first competitive season with the La Liga side back in 2007-08. Despite Koeman gettings sacked 6 months later, the duo maintained a healthy relationship and till date Mata thanks Koeman for the crucial guidance early in his career.
Add to that Jose Mourinho’s stance on Mata has not changed since the time he sold him to Manchester United back in January 2014. Mourinho sees Mata as a slow mover in his fast brisk counter-attacking side. That was the reason then and the same could end up being Mata’s exit card at Manchester United this summer as well.
With Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s arrival, Mourinho has already found a more suitable replacement for Mata at right wing where he was used throughout last season by Louis van Gaal. Despite being United’s third highest goal scorer last season, Mata is very close to being sold by Mourinho twice in little over 2 years.
The news picked up even more pace after a video went viral in which Zlatan Ibrahimovic appeared to have confirmed that he will get the jersey number 8 next season. Mata is the current owner of number 8 jersey at Old Trafford and if Zlatan is indeed getting that number then we may have seen the very last of Mata in a United shirt.
Mata’s exit – Premature rumours or fact?
This could be nothing but opportunist story making from the British tabloids where they are speculating about Mata’s uncertain future at the club and are linking him with one of his former managers who has recently joined a new club.
Mourinho, in one of his earlier interviews, did suggest that he will give all the players a fair chance to prove themselves at United and one has to feel that Mata is one of those players as well. The new Manchester United manager might give him the number 10 role and see how far has he developed as a player since their time at Chelsea.
A summer sale may not be on the cards just yet, however, if Mata fails to impress Mourinho we could see the Spaniard pack his bags and once again leave a Premier League club in the January transfer window.