A decision on Juan Mata’s contract is due to be made at the end of this month. The Spaniard will be free agent when his current contract expires on June 30th.

Talks are ongoing and Spanish newspaper Sport claims Mata will be offered a one-year contract extension.

The extended contract includes a pay cut to reflect Mata’s minimized role on the team. The former Valencia attacker is considering the proposal.

(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA / Getty Images)

It’s time to move on

This reported offer from United is a sentimental move. United wouldn’t sign a free agent as a substitute, so why renew Mata’s contract?

Last season, Mata only started in six Premier League games. It’s hard to imagine that this will change significantly in the next season.

United have a wide variety of attacking players and this will increase if Jadon Sancho’s move is successful.

There are young players like Amad who push for minutes, along with Anthony Elanga, Hannibal and Shola Shoretire.

Every time Mata is named on a matchday squad, that’s one place less for one of those players.

In the past season, Mata was unused 25 times in all competitions.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer likes to include him, but rarely wants to play him. So what’s the point?

Mata, 33, can still play. But he should step aside at United. If he returned to Spain he could find a club where he could start and play more than 20 La Liga games in a season.

He’s not the United played who spent £ 37.1million signing Chelsea in 2014, and he hasn’t been for a while.

He has only made 30 total starts in the last three Premier League seasons, with those numbers falling from season to season.

Everyone likes Mata, but …

Mata is a popular player on and off the pitch. But that shouldn’t change United’s decision.

United are terribly sentimental when it comes to contracts. Nemanja Matic landed a three-year contract last summer, and Phil Jones’ deal has proven to be pretty ridiculous.

Sports report United are hoping Mata will join the club’s coaching staff and rise the ranks behind the scenes at Old Trafford.

This could still happen if Mata leaves United. The club should keep the door open if they withdraw from the game. Until he does, no rolling contract is required.

(Photo by ANDY RAIN / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

Give the youngsters a chance

Giving the academy players more minutes has to be the main reason not to renew Mata’s contract.

Yes, his experience can help you, but not if he blocks your playing time.

Arnau Puigmal left the club last season to return to Spain after a promising season with the U23s in which he scored seven goals in 12 games and provided three assists.

Could he have benefited from getting Mata’s first-team minutes? Would he have chosen to stay?

Shoretire, Elanga and Hannibal all recently signed new contracts and there is no risk of them leaving, but frustration could creep in if they start to find limited options.

It is time for Mata to step aside and let the teenagers try to find their way. By staying, he only makes it harder.

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