Juan Mata could leave Manchester United after only one year at Old Trafford, with it claimed the club are prepared to offer the Spain international in exchange for Kevin Strootman in the January transfer window.
Mata swap deal
This is according to Stan Collymore, who has written in a column for Bleacher Report that it is ‘pretty clear’ Manchester United are to present Roma with the opportunity to sign Mata if they allow Strootman to move in the opposite direction.
This is information Collymore claims to have gathered from a ‘number of agents around Europe’, who would appear to have indicated to the former Liverpool striker that Manchester United are serious about recruiting Strootman.
Mata was the marquee acquisition of the David Moyes reign in Manchester, arriving at the club in January with United having paid a club record fee of £37.5 million in order to sign the 26-year-old playmaker from Chelsea.
This is a record that has since been surpassed by Louis van Gaal with the signing of Angel di Maria and, it would appear, a summer in which Manchester United spent £150 million has resulted in Mata becoming surplus to requirements.
Mata has actually performed well in what has been a poor season for Manchester United so far, scoring twice in five Premier League appearances, four of which have been starts.
But the club’s decision to sign Radamel Falcao in order to bolster their goalscoring options has prompted Wayne Rooney to be moved into a No.10 role. And, after the manager claimed his captain will always play, this would seem to offer Mata little prospect.
Strootman, meanwhile, is a player well liked by Van Gaal with the two having worked together extensively with the Netherlands and he would probably be a Manchester United player already were it not for his injury problems.
The 24-year-old sustained cruciate ligament damage playing for Roma in March, which resulted in him missing the World Cup, and he has yet to return to action for his club.
Any Manchester United bid for a player who only moved to the Italian capital a year ago will not be welcomed, with Roma manager Rudi Garcia claiming it would take an offer of €100 million for him to even consider selling Strootman.