Juan Mata could be handed a relief from his Manchester United nightmare in January as Juventus are preparing a potential transfer window swoop for the £37million star - the Red Devils could be persuaded to sell.
Since he joined the Old Trafford club from Chelsea last January in a then club-record deal, Mata has struggled to find his top form and the sacking of David Moyes left his future in some doubt.
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Playing an issue
New manager Louis van Gaal decided to retain Mata during a summer that saw 17 players depart the Red Devils, but the arrivals of Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao have meant playing opportunities have been limited for him.
Now, according to the Daily Express, Juventus are ready to step in and make a January bid for him as they look to add some Champions League experience to the squad and should be able to offer football in that competition in January.
The report states that Manchester United are keen to hang on to Mata this season, but would ask for something in the region of £23.5million if he was to be sold – they could possibly use that to launch a move for Arturo Vidal.
Van Gaal’s side are not in the Champions League following their seventh place finish last season under David Moyes in a dismal defence of their Premier League title, which does not give much room for rotation due to the limited number of matches they are playing.
Big-money additions get preference
Falcao and Di Maria have been brought straight into the starting XI since being bought, which has seen cub captain Wayne Rooney play a deeper role and take further opportunities from Mata to play in his preferred position through the middle.