Juventus target Juan Mata must snub a move to Turin and remain with current club Manchester United.
The Spaniard, who only moved to Old Trafford from Chelsea last January, is reportedly being eyed by the Italian giants as they prepare to lose Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal to Louis van Gaal’s side.
But despite competing with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao the 26-year-old would be making a serious error if he decides to move to Serie A and cut short his time at England’s most successful club.
Mata may have struggled to make the impact many were hoping for under David Moyes last term, but has still provided enough evidence that he could be a big hit at Old Trafford.
He has found the net twice already this campaign – his goals coming against Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers – and is expected to feature in United’s next two league games as Rooney serves his suspension following a kick on West Ham United’s Stewart Downing.
Last term he still scored six times despite being thrust on the wing by Moyes, and formed a fruitful partnership with Shinji Kagawa before the Japanese international returned to Borussia Dortmund this summer.
Van Gaal has admitted to Rooney being the only player to enjoy special ‘privileges’ due to his role as captain, but if Mata thrives in his team-mate’s absence and gets Falcao and Robin van Persie firing he may force his way into the side and consign the club captain to the substitute bench.
The Old Lady have started the season faultlessly and already look a side capable of steamrolling to a fourth consecutive Scudetto. Signing the Spaniard would offer them an extra dimension in attack and could see him join ex-Reds Patrice Evra and Carlos Tevez at the club.
What Juventus would lose in the bulldozing, snarling figure of Vidal they would gain in terms of creativity and composure in Mata.
His arrival could also see Massimiliano Allegri’s side bolster their chances of glory in the Champions League, having succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid last time out.
Many players who have left United in the past have struggled to make an impression elsewhere. Fiorentina’s Giuseppe Rossi was one of the few to shine when he moved to Villarreal in 2006, but injuries have stalled his progress and La Viola look depleted without him.
When Mata signed on at the club in the New Year he was granted a glitzy presentation complete with a helicopter, but though his progress has been steady he has not quite been blockbuster on the pitch just yet.
He has a duty to return the club to its former heights and justify his £37million fee that before the arrival of Di Maria stood as the club’s record transfer fee.
Fail to do so could see his career be on the slide.