Veteran Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata is looking into a January transfer, claims a report.
With very little game time under his belt this season the 33-year-old is understood to be mulling over his future after almost eight years at Old Trafford.
In that time the midfielder has made 274 appearances for United, scoring 54 goals and creating 47 assists. But this season his chances look limited.
Mata started his first game of the season in last week’s Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham. However, he was replaced by Mason Greenwood just after the hour mark as Solskjaer chased the game.
He was then omitted from the matchday squad against Aston Villa – for the first time this season.
And, according to the Manchester Evening News, the Spaniard is now considering his options.
Edinson Cavani’s return bumped Mata out of the 25-man squad, while Marcus Rashford is also on the mend. That would almost certainly reduce Mata’s chances of playing even further.
Amad Diallo is also closing in on a return to the squad and it seems that Mata is thinking that a move for a nominal fee in January could be the way forward.
Mata penned a one-year extension to his contract last July, keeping him at United until June 2022. He would be entitled to a free transfer next summer and could negotiate a pre-contract with a foreign club from January.
Alternatively, he could decide to leave before his contract expires with the source reporting he is “open to a move in the January transfer window”.
Of course a dramatic turnaround in his playing time would half any plans of a departure. But with United out of the EFL Cup that is a huge opportunity for the likes of Mata and other fringe players to showcase their talents.
Speculation had claimed that could have returned to Spain over the summer.
While, La Repubblica (via Football Italia) reported Mata had been offered a move to Lazio.
The Serie A club supposedly contacted the player’s agent and offered him a two-year contract. The midfielder could also stay for a third year, per an extension clause.