Manchester United's £35m Mata move must be the end for Kagawa

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Football News

The transfer rumour mill - even by its usual bonkers standards - has whirred into absolute overdrive today, with the future of a lovable Spaniard by the name of Juan Mata seemingly the focus of attention.

After a frantic couple of days in which speculation was mounting that Manchester United were preparing an offer for the Chelsea midfielder, reports this afternoon suggested that the Premier League champions had made a concrete bid in the region of £35 million - a club record, no less - for his signature.

Now, while that appears to be as far as things have gotten, if that and certain other gossip is to be believed, it seems that this is a move that is very likely to come off before the transfer window closes once again at the end of the month.

Personally, I believe that, if completed, Mata's signing would be an enormous positive for both Manchester United and David Moyes, with the Scot having obviously suffered a turbulent opening to his career in the Old Trafford dugout.

Not only should such a deal provide a timely morale boost to players and supporters alike, but Mata - Chelsea's best performer over recent seasons - should come with a real passion to prove himself and bounce back from a frustrating and ineffective season at Chelsea where he has seen his role and his very importance rapidly diminish under Jose Mourinho.

Mata's seemingly imminent switch to Manchester United also poses some interesting questions with regards to the status of current squad members at the club. While an uncharacteristically weak and undermanned United can scarcely afford to lose players, Mata's arrival will surely lead to eventual change in existing midfield personnel.

One such obvious change relates to the future of Shinji Kagawa, the Japanese international midfielder/playmaker who joined the club from Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund during the summer of 2012.

For the life of me, I just cannot see Kagawa having a future at Old Trafford if Moyes does indeed seal the deal for Mata. While Kagawa also retains that refreshing air of likability that sees fans willing him to succeed, he just has not done enough to impress in the Premier League.

While it could perhaps be said that he hasn't had ample opportunity playing in his preferred position, when Kagawa has been given the chance to show what he can do there he just has not done enough.

Mata has spent much of his disappointing 2013/14 campaign to date marooned in a largely unfamiliar wide position and the only way it seems likely that he would be willing to move to Manchester United is with assurances that he will be deployed in a familiar role. Otherwise, he would just be swapping one difficult situation for another.

With all of his attacking players fit and ready to play, one would presume that Moyes will be keen to deploy Robin van Persie as a central striker, with Wayne Rooney slightly withdrawn alongside Mata and Adnan Januzaj.

This would see Kagawa continue to look on from the substitute's bench. Now while it is of course important for clubs at all levels to ensure that they have sufficient cover and strength in depth to rely upon, it is incredibly difficult to see Kagawa, at this stage of his career, accepting such a bit-part existence.

Mata's arrival, if it comes to pass, must surely spell the end for Kagawa as a Manchester United player. I would hesitate to suggest that he would leave during the current window, but a summer move would seem likely.

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Premier League
Manchester United
Shinji Kagawa
Juan Mata

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