Juan Mata ‘considering Man Utd’ future over lack of game time under Solskjaer
Midfielder Juan Mata is debating whether his future lies with Manchester United or not having struggled for minutes for the past few seasons.
The Spaniard joined the Red Devils from Chelsea in 2014 for £37.1million and was a key figure in their squad at that time.
However, over the past few campaigns, the former Valencia player has slipped down the pecking order under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – namely due to the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, who has stolen his attacking midfielder (no.10) spot.
Mata made just nine Premier League appearances last season and is yet to feature this year either, and the 33-year-old is tempted to end his bench-warming spell for regular football elsewhere.
According to The Sun, Mata is considering leaving Old Trafford in January, may that be on a pre-contract agreement or for a fee.
The news may shock some fans who were under the impression that the no.8 was happy at United, especially considering he signed a one-year contract extension in July which keeps him on the books until next summer.
The news of the extension underlined the importance of Mata mainly off the pitch, but it appears he doesn’t want to just be an influential figure away from the pitch for the last few years of his career.
The club statement that broke the news of the contract extension said: “Dubbed a magician on the pitch and a gentleman off it, Mata has become one of the most popular players in recent United history and he is highly respected by all of his team-mates.
“The World Cup winner’s influence on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s young, improving squad is invaluable and the manager continues to be a huge supporter of the fleet-footed Spaniard.
“While his 2020/21 season was limited to 18 appearances, partly due to personal circumstances, Mata’s contribution remained and he was notably one of six Reds to win our Player of the Month awards, alongside Edinson Cavani, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw.”
Mata, or otherwise nicknamed ‘El Mago’, did miss a significant chunk of last season for personal reasons, but Solskjaer still hasn’t even substituted the midfielder on in the dying embers of a game this season at the very least.
The ex-Blues midfielder has only played 62 minutes of football in all competitions this season, starting against West Ham in the Carabao Cup but being the first player to be subbed off.