Manchester United are reportedly prepared to revive their interest in Juan Mata after Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho hinted the Spain international could be leave before the transfer deadline later this month.
Mata's case is a curious one given that he is consistently overlooked by Mourinho despite having been the club's player of the season during the previous two campaigns.
The playmaker's reaction to be substituted during the New Year's day victory over Southampton has led to increasing speculation that his time at Stamford Bridge is heading towards its end, and Mourinho admitted after the encounter that the 'door is open' should Mata wish to discuss an exit.
According to MEN, Manchester United would be one of several clubs interested were Chelsea to make Mata available for transfer having initially been interested in the acquisition of his services during the summer transfer window.
Manchester United remain in desperate need of a creative midfielder of some repute and Mata would surely fulfill the criteria outlined by David Moyes upon his official arrival at Old Trafford last July.
The 25-year-old has scored 33 times and provided 58 assists during his 135 appearances for Chelsea and his ability to unlock defences could prove vital as Manchester United pursue a place in the Premier League's top four.
MEN reports, though, that Chelsea would be more likely to facilitate a deal with a rival such as United were the champions prepared to include a striker as part of the package, with Javier Hernandez the most likely candidate.