Manchester United could swap Juan Mata for Miranda

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Manchester United are ready to renew their efforts to sign Atletico Madrid defender Miranda in January and could even offer Juan Mata in exchange, reports the Daily Express.

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Injury crisis

Louis van Gaal is currently dealing with an astonishing injury crisis at Old Trafford. Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans are all struggling with injuries while Tyler Blackett will sit out the game against West Ham through suspension.

That leaves the Dutchman with just one senior centre-back in Marcos Rojo and has exposed his failure to sign adequate replacements for Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. It's a failure he plans to rectify in January.

Miranda interest

Van Gaal's interest in Miranda is not born out of nothing. The Old Trafford outfit were strongly linked with a move for the 30-year-old in the summer with some sources even claiming that Manchester United had agreed a deal.

However, Atletico were determined to keep the main bulk of their squad intact after losing Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois to Chelsea. The former left in a £32 million deal while the latter finally left for Stamford Bridge after three years on loan at the Vicente Calderon. Filipe Luis also eventually left to join Jose Mourinho.  

Chelsea were also interest in Miranda, but Atletico were not keen to sell, especially as they had already sold Filipe Luis. The Brazilian does have a release clause of £24 million, but the Blues and Manchester United were not keen on investing so much on someone so old.

Mata swap

However, Van Gaal is starting to consider a swap deal that would see Mata depart Old Trafford just one season after joining from Chelsea in a club record deal. The Spaniard has been in fine form since arriving under David Moyes, but finds his place in the squad compromised by the arrivals of Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao.

While Manchester United's attack is stockpiled with talent, their defence is lacking and swapping the two talents could solve both problems. It would also help to shift Mata off the wage bill.

Mata earns £140,000-a-week at Old Trafford, which is certainly a lot for someone considered a squad player. Although money is not of grave concern for Van Gaal, it is worth keeping an eye on their wage bill with Wayne Rooney, Di Maria, Falcao and Robin van Persie all earning northwards of £200,000-a-week.

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