La Liga giants Valencia are reportedly hoping to sign Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata, upon the expiry of his contract next summer.
As per reports from The Sun, Manchester United superstar Juan Mata could be set to seal a sensational return to former club Valencia next summer, when his contract with the Red Devils expires. The 30-year-old has less than 12 months left on his current deal with United and Valencia are hoping to take their former player back to Mestalla on a free transfer.
Mata joined Valencia from Real Madrid Castilla back in 2007 and went on to spend four successful years, during which he accumulated 174 appearances, racking up 46 goals and 52 assists.
The Spaniard was then snapped up by Manchester United’s Premier League rivals Chelsea in the summer of 2011, where he went on to lift the UEFA Champions League trophy along with an FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League title as well.
Mata was signed by Manchester United in January 2014, during the ill-fated reign of David Moyes. The playmaker has notched up 187 appearances for the club, producing returns of 39 goals and 34 assists, winning an FA Cup, a League Cup and the Europa League in the process.
The 30-year-old entered the final year of his existing contract with the Red Devils this summer and has reportedly held talks over the possibility of a new deal. However, Valencia’s interest in signing him could change things for the Spaniard and his willingness to continue at Manchester United, given his history with Los Che.
A club source said (as quoted by The Sun):, “It is well known Juan is wanted by Valencia. There is a strong connection between the two. His deal is up next summer and it looks likely he’ll leave unless something changes soon. We know Juan’s motives are not related to money and there’s a very strong emotional attachment to take into account.”
However, the report suggests that the Spanish outfit would only be willing to sign him on a free transfer, as they would find it financially infeasible to pay a transfer fee to complete his signing and meet his £130,000-a-week wages as well.
Despite initial doubts, Mata has grown into an important player under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United. The World Cup winner featured 40 times across all competitions last season scoring three times and setting up seven more. He has started the new campaign on a positive note as well, registering an assist in the Red Devils’ 2-1 win against Leicester City last weekend.
The 30-year-old will be able to enter into negotiations with foreign clubs starting from January. However, the fact that Manchester United have already held initial talks over a contract extension hints that the club wants to keep hold of the Spaniard.
But, a chance to secure an emotional return to a club where he grew and flourished into a rising star could prove to be too hard to turn down for Mata.