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£130k-a-week Man Utd star linked with exit as free transfer touted next summer

Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho is reportedly at risk of seeing Juan Mata leave the club on a free transfer next summer amid talk of a return to Valencia.

The 30-year-old joined the Red Devils from Chelsea in 2013, and has since gone on to make 187 appearances for the club while scoring 39 goals.

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Prior to moving to England in 2011 though, he enjoyed a stellar stint with Valencia which saw him bag 46 goals in 174 games while winning the Copa del Rey, which in turn caught the eye of the Blues to help him embark on a new challenge abroad.

Although competition for places is already fierce at Man Utd with the likes of Jesse Lingard, Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial all battling for places behind a main striker, Mata has continued to play a key role under Mourinho.

After making 40 appearances last season, he started in the 2-1 win over Leicester City to kick-start the new campaign last week and so it seems as though he has an important part to play at Old Trafford moving forward.

However, according to The Sun, he has been paired with a return to former club Valencia next summer, with his current contract set to expire at the end of the season. Further, it’s suggested via a source that ‘it looks likely he’ll leave’ with a free transfer being mooted.

While it could offer an opportunity for United to clear his £130,000-a-week wages off the books if he does go, as per the Sun, they may well miss what he brings to the side as he offers a different dynamic in the final third with his creative qualities.

In turn, they’ll have to make an assessment and push to agree on new terms if they wish for him to remain. If not, then perhaps clearing space on the wage bill could help them move towards bringing in a quality replacement next summer.

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