Juan Mata is reportedly considering leaving Manchester United in the January transfer window.
The MEN report that if his playing time is not extended, Mata will be ready to leave United.
Mata has only played one game this season. That came with the loss in the Carabao Cup last week.
He was substituted off after 62 minutes and the defeat and elimination of United are also a blow to his playing time.
(Photo by Alex Pantling / Getty Images)
At the weekend he was not in the squad against Aston Villa. That was the first time he didn’t get on the bench for the whole season.
But, like so often last season, Solskjaer didn’t use it, even when it was an option. In 2020/21 he was substituted on 25 unused times.
The MEN report claims Mata would be open to staying if his playing time extends. But it’s hard to see that happening.
Mata dropped onto the bench, Edinson Cavani came on as an option. With Marcus Rashford returning from injury, this is another offensive player who will put Mata in the pecking order.
Extending his deal never made sense
United’s decision to renew Mata’s contract felt strange at the time. It was a decision made out of goodwill towards the Spaniard and not for the team.
But it’s not really good for him. Mata could leave United and find a club he actually plays at, maybe back in Spain.
While it would be a great story if Mata’s time at United ended in a title win, it would be hollow if he didn’t play a role and it’s not entirely certain anyway.
Renewing Mata’s contract was an unnecessary decision at the time and the situation at United has changed since then.
Jesse Lingard stayed when he was expected to leave and Cristiano Ronaldo has joined the club, increasing competition for places in attack.
All Mata does is block the way for young talents like Hannibal and Shola Shoretire.
Mata can negotiate a pre-contract with the clubs from January, but he was last year and decided against it.
(Photo by Joe Prior / Visionhaus)
It is more likely that it will simply be sold or allowed to go for free. United didn’t get in the way of Ashley Young when Inter called in January 2020.
Mata, 33, served the club well, but his time is up. It should have been in summer.
It sounds like the latest report, as if it has now realized this and is ready to accept that it is time to move on. Its lack of playing time is unlikely to change significantly between now and January.
Do you have something to say about this article?