Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has reportedly come to an important decision on his future as he nears a potential free transfer away from the club at the end of the season.
The Spain international does not perhaps look extremely likely to sign a new contract at Old Trafford after something of a squad player role in the team for the last few years, though he has long been regarded as one of the top creative players in Europe.
It hasn’t really worked out for him at United, but Mata should have some big-name suitors for him if he does leave on a free in the summer.
According to France Football, as translated by the Daily Mirror, the 30-year-old would lean towards a move back to Spain, specifically with his old club Valencia if he does not end up staying with the Red Devils.
This is bad news for Arsenal, who were recently linked by the Daily Star as suitors for the playmaker, who shone under their manager Unai Emery when they were together at Valencia.
Still, it makes sense that after a long and successful career in England, Mata may now be feeling like it’s time to move back to La Liga for another spell in his home country.
Arsenal could do with someone coming in in midfield, however, with Aaron Ramsey also due to be a free agent in the summer and surely needing replacing in Emery’s squad.
Mata could have been a fine candidate for that kind of attacking midfield role at the Emirates Stadium, but it may be tricky persuading him not to move back to Spain.