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Arsenal are currently preparing an offer to lure Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata away from Old Trafford, according to reports.
The 30-year-old could be available on a free transfer come summer, should United fail to reach a new contract agreement with him and as such, he could prove to be a bargain for any club ahead of next season.
It is believed that Mata would prefer to remain a United player for the foreseeable, however, the friction between himself and Jose Mourinho has remained quite consistent since the manager’s arrival in 2016, leading to further suggestions that the United number eight could be pushed out of the Red Devils’ door.
On the pitch, the attacking midfielder has endured a positive run of form recently. Two goals in his last six matches in all competitions is a great return, considering he has played the full 90 minutes on just one occasion.
Notably, Mata was instrumental in his side’s 2-1 victory away at Juventus on Wednesday night, curling a sumptuous free-kick home for United’s equaliser.
“As soon as the free-kick was in there, I had the confidence that I had to take it,” he said, when asked about his pleas with Ashley Young to take the set-piece just moments before.
“I told Ash ‘please let me take it, because I can go over the wall’,” he remarked.
Despite the apparent conflicts between player and manager, the Spanish international is an undeniable asset to the current United squad.
Unai Emery is reportedly aware of capitalising on the whole Mourinho-Mata façade by bringing the playmaker to the capital. The two previously worked together at Valencia, where Mata built a name for himself as one of Europe’s best, largely due to his fine goal-scoring record and a 2008 Copa del Rey title.
While the 2010 World Cup winner may want to stay put or to return to his native homeland, the relationship with Emery, after much frustration with his current boss, could be vital in deciding his future in the next few weeks.