Barcelona are reportedly interested in a Bosman deal for Juan Mata, whose Manchester United contract is set to expire at the end of the season.
The Sun have reported of a renaissance of interest from Barcelona in Juan Mata’s services. The Catalan giants are aware of the fact that the playmaker’s Manchester United contract is set to expire at the end of the 2018-19 campaign and are looking at bringing the Spaniard in on a free transfer.
The report states that Barcelona have already taken the first step towards convincing Juan Mata. Ernesto Valverde & co. have already begun negotiations with Mata’s father and agent, Juan Sr. Manchester United do not want to let go of their playmaker just yet.
But, Mata is reportedly unhappy at being offered only a one-year deal. The Spaniard wants a two-year deal at the minimum and is ready to hold off on it to see if the Red Devils do agree to his demand. Barcelona, on the other hand, are prepared to meet Mata’s request and are looking at the Spaniard as a valuable squad rotation option and a win-win transfer for the club.
Barcelona do not really have a need for a number 10 right now. But, Juan Mata has shown he can play and be a nuisance from the right flank as well, which could come in handy should Valverde want to field inside forwards and playmakers on the wing rather than out-and-out wingers.
The Barcelona manager also has an affinity towards fielding 4-4-2 at times, wherein Mata would fit in better than natural wingers. Another positive is that Mata’s style of play will complement Barcelona’s tiki-taka philosophy and the brand of smooth football that their players aim for on the field.
Manchester United, on the other hand, have also reverted to a 4-3-3 but have no definite right wingers in the squad. Mata has been the best option coming in from the right, but the Spaniard has not exactly been setting the stage alight recently. Mata has started just twice in the last month or so and has not really performed admirably in the two matches either, struggling against both Liverpool and most recently, Watford.
It will be interesting to see which deals Manchester United prioritise. There are talks of deals for Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and David de Gea. But, Herrera and Mata are the ones whose contracts are up for expiry in the summer and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have a tough decision to make – one of his first ones which will indicate what shape he wants his squad to take going forward.