Gary Neville says Manchester United shouldn't sign Juan Mata

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Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville believes that signing Juan Mata wouldn't be a good move for the Red Devils.

The Chelsea star has been frozen out at Stamford Bridge following the arrival of Jose Mourinho - although the Portuguese boss insists he won't be sold.

However reports today suggest that Manchester United will test his resolve with a £37 million bid for the Spaniard before the close of the January transfer window.

The reigning Premier League champions have struggled badly this season following the arrival of new boss David Moyes as Sir Alex Ferguson's replacement at Old Trafford - a change compounded by a disastrous summer transfer window.

Now it appears as though Moyes is looking to make amends this month - but Neville, who won eight Premier League titles with Manchester United in a glittering career before turning his hand to punditry with Sky Sports, says that Mata isn't the right man for the job.

"That's a lot of money, 37 million quid, but they need a signing," He said on Monday Night Football.

"Does he fit with what I would call the typical philosophy of Manchester United? I would say no.

"The first question, I think, is where are you going to play? Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are up top if they are fit so where are you going to play him? Are you going to play him off the left or off the right?

"We've seen Kagawa play off the left, we saw Kleberson play at times off the left, we've seen Veron at Manchester United move to the left because you can't play central midfield.

"Maybe they have to change the philosophy and maybe that's what David Moyes is thinking. Maybe he wants to play narrow wide players and maybe a three in midfield.

"They would have to change to accommodate Juan Mata in the way they normally play. They normally play with wide players. Sometimes they tuck in, but generally they have wide players and the thing for me is where is he going to play?"

Despite his reservations over Mata, Neville insists the former Valencia man is a fine player - and if Manchester United do land him it may convince other players to opt for a switch to Old Trafford and kickstart the post-Ferguson era.

"He's obviously a fantastic football player, there's no doubt about that, but one thing it does do, I suppose, is that David Moyes, Manchester United and Ed Woodward need to sign a big player," he explained.

"They need to make a noise and if they get him in it will attract potentially other players - and they need three or four players.

"What it could be is the start of something to lead to other things, but typically I wouldn't say he fits."

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Premier League
Manchester United
Juan Mata

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