Athletic Bilbao are reportedly ‘desperate’ to win the race for Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata in this summer’s transfer window.
According to the Daily Mirror, the Basque side look to have made Mata the most tempting offer so far with a two-year contract on the table to the former Spain international.
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The 31-year-old is nearing the end of his contract at Old Trafford and looks highly likely now to be a free agent at the end of this season.
The Mirror also link Brighton with an ambitious move for Mata after surviving relegation, and it would no doubt be good to see such a fine player remain in the Premier League for a little longer.
Mata is undoubtedly past his peak now, but remains a joy to watch when he’s at his best and is also one of the games’s genuinely nicest characters.
The former Chelsea star seems a gentleman off the pitch with his involvement in Common Goal – a charity scheme persuading footballers and other athletes to donate 1 per cent of their wages to worthy causes.