Old Trafford club want Mestalla youngster despite Anfield interest.
Manchester United are preparing an audacious £23million bid for Valencia midfielder Juan Mata, despite the signing of Ashley Young.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been impressed by the 23-year-old’s performances for Spain U21s in the European Championships in Denmark.
Ferguson wants the Spain international to replace the retired Paul Scholes and will make an offer next week, according to Fanatix.
Liverpool have also been tracking Mata but United now look in pole position after losing out on Alexis Sanchez to Barcelona.
Mata is regarded as one of the rising stars of La Liga and the Red Devils and can operate in several positions, including midfielder, left wing or as a secondary striker.
He is seen as a cheaper alternative to Uniteds long-term target Wesley Sneijder, with the Inter Milan star valued at £35million.
Another of the Red Devil’s targets is Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric, but the Croatian seems to have his heart set on a move across London to Chelsea.
Whilst Mata has a £45million buyout clause in his contract, the Spanish clubs financial struggles mean United could secure his services for around half that amount.