The agent of Manchester United star Juan Mata has revealed three different Barcelona attempts to sign the player.
The 31-year-old had the opportunity to quit Old Trafford on a free transfer last summer, with Barca one of a handful of clubs linked with a move for the former Chelsea man.
However, the attacking midfielder ended any speculation and committed his future to the Red Devils by signing a new contract in June 2019.
Mata’s current deal runs until the summer of 2021 and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side also have an option in place to further extend his stay by a year.
Mata is represented by his father, Juan Manuel Mata Rodríguez, and the latter has revealed to VIP Deportivo, via Sport Witness, just how many times Barcelona have chased his son’s signature.
When asked if the playmaker is a ‘footballer with the Barca DNA’ and if there was a formal approach from the Catalan club for the United player, Juan Mata Sr said:”“Indeed, as he is a player who has a DNA very similar to that [Barcelona’s style] football.
“I agree with the Spanish national team, with colleagues of that style, because there were three occasions to sign for Barcelona,” he said.
“The first one was when he was at Valencia. Then when he was transferred to Chelsea, they also thought of Juan and there was a third one recently where there were also possibilities.
“However, in all of them, Juan was lucky that he was in big clubs. This did not give that circumstance [to leave] because, thank God, he was in very important clubs.”
When asked how important Mata is at Old Trafford, his father added: “Well yes. Upon arrival he was quite important because at that time he was the most important transfer in the history of Manchester United. He had a welcome, arrived by helicopter at the training centre and it was quite an event.
“And after that, staying in a team as big as Manchester United, he’s spent six seasons at the highest level, playing at least 30 games per year and next to those teammates who are proud to see who they have played with. Juan is a player who is entering United’s history and has won titles.”
Meanwhile, Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has offered some useful words of advice that Red Devils midfielder Paul Pogba would surely benefit from.
The France international has had an up-and-down time since his return to United from Juventus in 2016, and Old Trafford fans would more than likely be happy to see him move on.
However, Ferdinand has suggested one way for Pogba to improve his reputation, and that would be for him to speak directly to the press more, rather than letting his agent Mino Raiola do so much of his talking for him. Read more…