A rarely seen Man Utd attacker could be set for a return to his native country as the impasse over his contract rumbles on, claims a report.
Bruno Fernandes has been the inspiration as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have pushed on another step in the current campaign.
Summer recruit Edinson Cavani has also had a major impact. The Uruguayan has led Utd’s line capably and provided a focal point for Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood to play off from the wings.
One player who has seen his role in the forward line reduced this season, however, is Juan Mata.
The Spanish veteran, 32, has made just six appearances in the league this term. Mata’s contract is due to expire in the summer, though Man Utd retain the option to trigger an additional year.
With Greenwood on the rise and Daniel James also ahead of him in the pecking order, that option appears increasingly unlikely to be taken up.
“The decision is very difficult every time with Juan,” Solskjaer said. “You know he’s got the quality. If he plays, he’s scored goals, he’s contributed this season.
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Spanish outlet AS now report that a ‘move back to La Liga’ would appear to be the best course of action.
That particular path of a veteran Spanish attacker returning home has been walked before.
Ex-Arsenal playmaker Santi Cazorla and former Man City talisman David Silva both returned to clubs in La Liga following extended stays in England.
Man Utd walking training tightrope with Greenwood
Meanwhile, Manchester United are reportedly looking to strike a healthy balance in training with Mason Greenwood as they try to aid his progression.
Greenwood, 19, has been unable to replicate his goalscoring form from last season in 2020-2021. The talented forward hit 10 Premier League goals and 17 in all competitions last term.
But, from 17 league outings, he has found the net just once this season. The Bradford-born starlet has also netted once in the FA Cup, EFL Cup and Champions League.
But it is worrying that his league goals have dried up since bagging against West Ham on December 5. The Athletic claim that United are putting the youngster through special training drills at Carrington.