Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd exodus continues with Juan Mata exit confirmed, as difference of opinion shapes next move

Juan Mata veteran Man Utd star, applauds supporters after 3-0 win over Brentford at Old Trafford

Man Utd have confirmed Juan Mata as the third player who soon leave, while a difference of opinion between player and club has emerged.

Mata is among a whole host of United stars who are out of contract this summer. Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard both saw their exits officially confirmed by the Red Devils on Wednesday.

Edinson Cavani’s contract is also up, while Nemanja Matic will reportedly be allowed to leave for nothing.

But it was Mata’s turn to see official confirmation of his departure come on Thursday morning.

Manchester United delivered a glowing assessment of the Spaniard’s time at Old Trafford in their statement, including recounting his memorable brace that sunk Liverpool at Anfield in 2015.

The club thanked the 34-year-old for his professionalism and faultless service to the club. However, a difference of opinion has been detailed by transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.

Talk of Mata taking a coaching role at the club had swirled in recent times. Yet per Romano, Mata does not see his playing career as finished.

Juan Mata views his future differently

Mata’s minutes had been slashed in recent seasons, culminating in just 409 minutes of action across all competitions this year. Clearly, United believed the crafty veteran had little left to offer.

But according to Romano, Mata will not be joining United’s coaching set-up alongside Erik ten Hag. Instead, the playmaker will seek a new challenge and aim to extend his playing days further.

Interest from La Liga has been detailed in the past, most notably from Real Betis and Real Sociedad. With Mata’s exit now set in stone, those links could quickly ramp up.

Who else should leave Man Utd?

Pogba, Lingard and Mata’s exits as free agents have all been confirmed. Cavani will follow suit along with Matic.

Elsewhere, a decision will have to be made on Andreas Pereira. The midfielder has seen his permanent switch to Flamengo collapse and has just one year left on his United deal.

James Garner may be given a chance to impress after excelling on loan at Nottingham Forest. But if United land Frenkie de Jong, another loan spell could materialise.

At right-back, Romano recently confirmed United will listen to proposals for Aaron Wan-Bissaka. In contrast, Diogo Dalot’s future seems safe unless a bid too good to refuse is lodged.

The Express recently reported centre-halves Phil Jones and Eric Bailly can leave. Anthony Martial too could be axed with Ten Hag looking to sweep clean.

Of those listed, only Dalot and Garner should be retained in our eyes. That particular pair are clearly on an upwards trajectory in stark contrast to the rest.