Juan Mata is reportedly keen on leaving Manchester United in January, with Barcelona eager to secure his services.

According to an exclusive report by Daily Star, Juan Mata is desperate to call time on his spell with Manchester United in the January transfer window. As a result, the veteran Spanish playmaker has emerged on the radar of Barcelona over a possible winter move.

Juan Mata joined Manchester United from Chelsea in January 2014 and has since only displayed flashes of his brilliant creative talent. The Spaniard’s best days at senior-level club football came at Chelsea, although he has made some notable contributions for the Red Devils, including in the 2016 FA Cup final against Crystal Palace.

However, Mata has been a bit-part player for much of the last couple of years, and in the ongoing campaign, he has managed just 151 minutes of game-time across three appearances. The 33-year-old playmaker’s frustrations have now boiled over, and he is seeking a January exit from Manchester United. Such a situation has alerted Barcelona.

The Catalan giants are desperate to make attacking reinforcements in the January transfer window after what has been a disastrous first half of the 2021/22 season. The forwards have been wasteful in the final third, but a lack of creativity has also played a major role in Barcelona’s struggles thus far.

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In particular, Philippe Coutinho has failed to impress despite being given plenty of chances to turn his fortunes around at Barcelona. And the Brazilian playmaker has been deemed surplus to requirements by Barcelona, with Manchester United reportedly offered the opportunity to sign him.

Consequently, the Blaugrana will need to bring in a replacement if they succeed in offloading Coutinho. To that end, Mata has emerged as a surprise target for Barcelona for the third time, and they are hoping to take advantage of the veteran playmaker’s desire to leave Manchester United.

However, due to their financial crisis, Barcelona cannot afford to pay anything for Mata, which explains why they are interested in someone like the Spaniard in the first place. So, the best outcome for Barcelona appears to be waiting till the summer to sign him on a free transfer once his Manchester United contract. However, with Valencia also keen on securing his services, it remains to be seen where Mata ends up when he leaves Manchester United.

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