A pleasant surprise.
Mundo Deportivo (via Manchester Evening News) in Spain claim Juan Mata is ‘likely’ to renew his Manchester United contract.
The Spain international has found himself at a crossroads more than once at United, with previous managers having mixed views on the playmaker.
Not long ago the Daily Mail linked Barcelona with a swoop for Mata, as long as he’d agree to take a pay cut from £170,000-a-week wages at United.
His next deal is bound to be lower than that…
So what does that mean for Mata next season?
It looks like talks between the club and player have progressed well in recent weeks, though he’s not getting any younger and doesn’t play all that regularly as it is.
Mata doesn’t have the legs to play on the right, but talk of a move for Daniel James should see United occupy that role with a specialist winger at long last.
The Spaniard is now best deployed in a deeper role or as a No. 10.
An important figure in the dressing room, Mata is probably one of the last players Solskjaer wants to lose in that regard. The dressing room has been pretty toxic of late and that can’t be the case when the players get together for pre-season if United want to start the season as strong as possible.
Hope he stays – but not on a ridiculous contract.