Manchester United are reportedly set to offer Juan Mata as part of the deal to sign Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba this summer.
The Spaniard was sold by Jose Mourinho in 2014 when their paths crossed at Chelsea, and it doesn’t appear as though the manager’s opinion of the player has changed since then.
Mourinho was particularly critical of the playmaker’s general lack of physicality and dynamism, and so the 28-year-old would likely have feared the worst when the Portuguese tactician was confirmed as United boss earlier this summer.
In turn, it looks as though he could be moving on again due to that lack of belief and confidence in his play, with The Mirror claiming that he will be used as part of United’s bid to prise Pogba away from Juve.
While Mata will harbour hopes of staying at Old Trafford and playing some kind of role in the club’s success moving forward, he could be given a lifeline by the fact that the Bianconeri are only interested in a straight cash deal, as noted in the report.
Nevertheless, it will still be a concern for him that the club are reportedly willing to offer him as a bargaining chip, which suggests that he may well be forced to move on regardless.
The Spanish international scored 10 goals and created 11 in 54 appearances in all competitions last season, and will at least hope that he is given an opportunity to prove his worth.
As for Pogba, speculation has certainly now made him United’s number one transfer target this summer, and it remains to be seen whether or not a deal can be reached with Juve.
Naturally, the Serie A champions will be keen to avoid losing him, but with the figures being touted, a £100m transfer fee alone according to The Mirror, it will likely be difficult for the Turin giants to continue to ignore United’s calls even if they reject the idea of taking Mata to lower the valuation of the player.