Solskjaer hints at Man Utd man’s exit; probed on big-money arrival

Date published: Wednesday 24th February 2021 2:25 - Jonny Whitfield

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd Europa League press conference

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar has suggested that he is open to losing Juan Mata amid the midfielder entering the final few months of his contract.

Mata has proved a fantastic servant to United since his 2014 arrival, both on the pitch and off it.

However, he has provided more use off the field of late, amid his struggles for match action. The 32-year-old, who turns 33 in April, has only managed 12 appearances this season.

As such, speculation earlier this month suggested that a move to LaLiga is on the cards. Meanwhile, a fresher report from The Sun has claimed that Inter, Juventus and Roma have also shown interest.

United have the option to extend Mata’s contract by an extra year, but speaking in Wednesday’s press conference, Solskjaer did not divulge his plans.

“I’m not surprised that teams are interested in him,” the manager told reporters (via the Manchester Evening News).

“One, he is a very good footballer, & two, he is a fantastic human being.

“I am sure Juan has been able to speak to other clubs if he wanted to. We have a good dialogue.”

Solskjaer has spoken of the midfielder’s growing influence in United’s dressing room, amid the Red Devils’ push for a top-four Premier League finish this season.

Solskjaer faced more questions over a potential future move to bring Erling Haaland to Old Trafford.

The United boss‘ fellow Norwegian took his Borussia Dortmund tally to 43 goals in as many games last weekend. But aside from his nationality link with Solskjaer, the pair worked together at Molde.

Solskjaer probed on potential Haaland swoop

Erling Haaland

“I think when you have had kids and players through as a coach you follow them,” Solskjaer said.

“I keep in touch with Erling – it is great to see him become the player he has become.

“He is a Dortmund player and we wish him well there. Let’s see what life will bring later on.”

Solskjaer was speaking ahead of Thursday’s Europa League second-leg tie with Real Sociedad. The Red Devils have one foot in the last 16, having beaten their Spanish opponents 4-0 last week.

READ MORE: Man Utd primed to gazump Atalanta with €13m bid for promising centre-back

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