Manchester United have reportedly offered Juan Mata a new contract extension after releasing a bunch of players in a mass clearout.
According to The Sun, Manchester United desperately want to keep hold of Juan Mata next season, amid reports linking him to a move away from Old Trafford. As a result, the Red Devils have tabled a new contract extension offer for the former Chelsea playmaker as club manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer holds him in high esteem.
Manchester United have also released a list of players who will either be leaving or will be released by the club at the end of next month. The list includes veteran defender Antonio Valencia as well as Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera, whose departure may have a key role to play behind Solskjaer’s wish to retain the services of Mata.
However, it remains unclear whether or not Mata will accept the terms and prolong his stay at Old Trafford. The Spaniard was notably linked with a move to Barcelona earlier this summer, which is a dream move for any top player in Europe.
That being said, a move to Barcelona will further minimise Mata’s playing opportunities, with the Catalans boasting the services of Arturo Vidal, Arthur Melo as well as Ivan Rakitic. Hence, it’s unrealistic to think that Mata will be considered as a regular first-team player at Barcelona.
Staying at Manchester United, however, could see him potentially play a key role at the club next season. Solskjaer has already suggested that he wants to rebuild the United team with young players. Mata’s experience and professionalism, to that end, could go a long way in nurturing these young talents.
In addition, the 31-year-old is a technically astute midfielder, which tunes in well with the attack branded football Manchester United have implemented under the Norwegian.
On the flip side, however, Mata is not suited to be deployed in attack mostly due to his lack of pace and that is something which could potentially slow down a United side, who are keen to add more flair and dynamism to their attack next season. The recent signing of Swansea speed demon Daniel James is a perfect example of the type of players Solskjaer wants at United this summer.
Therefore, it’s difficult to deduce as to whether or not Mata’s stay will prove to be beneficial for the Red Devils. But, it is unlikely that the Spaniard will be able to revive his career here on in and thus, staying at one of Europe’s clubs and helping them return to the pinnacle of European club football may not be a bad idea at all from the player’s perspective.