The Italian champions Juventus gave Manchester United a firm reminder of where they stand in the order of Europe’s best clubs and may now be about to relieve them of a squad member, too, according to the Evening Standard.
They report that Juan Mata is being lined up by the canny transfer department at the club to join as a free agent this summer. The 30-year-old Spaniard is out of contract in the summer and is available to discuss a potential deal with foreign clubs from January.
Snapping up valuable players as free agents has become part of Juventus’ way of operating in recent times and it’s been a worthwhile ploy for them. Patrice Evra, Sami Khedira, Dani Alves and Emre Can are among those nabbed by the Turin club in a similar fashion.
The same outlet claim that United manager Jose Mourinho is keen for the club’s board to tie down the former Chelsea schemer Mata to a deal, but negotiations haven’t progressed to that point.
Mata has been a standout performer intermittently for the club as they’ve navigated a few troubled years, often playing well while others were not, but has not always been a regular starter under the Portuguese.
Technically proficient and mature, he could prove a very worthwhile addition to Juventus’ squad at a price that’s hard to argue with. The one-time Valencia man is noted, too, for his work outside of football, and set up the charity Common Goal, which aims to fund humanitarian projects through fundraising.