Juan Mata and Jose Mourinho have finally come to an agreement with regards to his role at Manchester United which should see the Spaniard stay at Old Trafford until at least January.
Speculation surrounding Mata's future has been at fever pitch since the day Mourinho was confirmed as Louis van Gaal's successor. He famously fell short of the Special One's requirements at Chelsea and was sold to United in January 2014 despite his status as a fan favourite.
And when he was substituted in the Community Shield tie against Leicester only 25 minutes after emerging from the bench, it was thought his short time as a Red Devil was coming to an end.
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However, according to The Telegraph, Mata has agreed to stay part of the Manchester United squad even though it will mean less playing time. Mourinho has told him he has a part to play in his plans, but won't be the first choice in any of his favoured positions.
Although he started the first game of the season against Bournemouth and last Friday’s win over Southampton, it is believed that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will eventually become the starting right-winger. The Armenian arrived from Borussia Dortmund in a £26m deal this summer but is still settling into his new life in England and has been used sparingly.
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Mata was booted out six months after Mourinho took charge of Chelsea and there is every chance the same thing could happen at United. The same report claims the squad will be reviewed when the January transfer window opens, in which Mata could decide to leave.
For instance, if the diminutive playmaker has played even less than he expects or gets a tempting offer from another European club, the door could be left open for him to sneak out.
It is a strange situation for Mata to find himself in. He is, after all, the fourth most expensive player in United's history and is eager to stay at the club, but that was the same at Chelsea too.
Although much has changed since Mourinho and Mata fell out at Stamford Bridge, it remains a fact that his wingers must help out defensively. That was where the Spain international fell short at Chelsea but he now has half a season to prove he has changed.
Trimming down the squad
It is another significant blow for Ed Woodward in his efforts to trim down the spiraling wage bill. He has already had to forgo a transfer fee in his efforts to get rid of Bastian Schweinsteiger. The German is on a huge contract of over £200,000-a-week yet has been thrown out of the senior dressing room by Mourinho.
Mata is on £140,000-a-week himself and Mourinho's decision to keep him gives Woodward another headache.
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