15 axed by Man Utd but Solskjaer wants key figure to sign new contract

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In an apparent bid to rebuild, Man Utd have released 15 players on expiring contracts but they reportedly want Juan Mata to stay.

The Red Devils are coming off the back of a bitterly disappointing campaign in which they failed to qualify for the Champions League and ended up trophyless.

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Despite a positive start to life as interim boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer began to encounter problems soon after he was announced as permanent manager, and ultimately United failed to achieve their minimum objectives.

In turn, that could now spark significant changes at Old Trafford, with The Sun noting that 15 players have been released having been on expiring deals, with a mix of both experienced stalwarts and youngsters who failed to make the cut.

Ander Herrera, Antonio Valencia, Regan Poole, Zak Dearnley, Tom Sang, Callum Whelan, Matty Willock, James Wilson, Matthew Olosunde, Tyrell Warren, DJ Buffonge, Callum Gribbin, Josh Bohui, Baars Bohui and James Thompson have all been released, and will now search for opportunities elsewhere.

Given the number of talents that come through the United youth system, it will come as no surprise if the names above are heard again in English football away from Manchester, but United have seemingly made a decision to move them out with Herrera and Valencia the obvious bigger losses.

However, one player that Solskjaer appears to want to avoid losing is Mata, with The Sun reporting that they’ve offered him a new contract to try to convince him to stay.

The 31-year-old remains a key figure in the Man Utd squad, having made 218 appearances for the club since arriving from Chelsea in 2014.

Mata has contributed 45 goals and 37 assists in that time, but it’s his experience, leadership and ability to offer a different dynamic in the final third to Solskjaer’s other options that make him pivotal, with his creativity and technical quality complementing the pace and movement of the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

In turn, it would seem like a sensible decision to keep him, but time will tell if United have left it too late to try and convince him with his current deal expiring at the end of the month.

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