Juan Mata is reportedly closing in on a new one-year contract extension at Manchester United

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata is reportedly close to agreeing on a new contract at the Theatre of Dreams. The report suggests that United and the player held positive talks last week with the 30-year-old set to commit another year at the Old Trafford club. Mata has spent five years at the club, signing in January 2014 in a £37.1 million move from Chelsea during the ill-fated David Motes era of the club, which ended months after Mata’s arrival.

It was expected that Mata would leave United as a free agent in the summer after previous reports suggested that a one-year contract was not what Mata wanted. Some links suggested Barcelona could have been a serious contender in signing the player in the summer but it could have just been hearsay. It is stated that United’s caretaker manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sat down with Mata and recommended the player was given a one-year deal with the option of another year, meaning he could remain at the club until 2021.

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A source, which could be something or nothing, reportedly stated; “[Juan] Mata has had to wait his turn but it looks like the offer is there now. Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] has told the board what he wants to happen. There have been others ahead of him but he is top of the queue now. He wants to continue his time here. There is interest elsewhere but he is happy and wants to stay long-term.” Suggesting that United could opt to keep hold of players past their best instead if reinvesting in younger, better players.

Mata currently earns a figure in the region of £170,000 each week, of which 1% is given to a charity, Common Goal. It is expected that the new one-year deal would be on similar terms. It has been suggested in the report that Mata wanted a three-year contract renewal at the Theatre of Dreams, something which does not fit the bill for players over the age of 30 with the club offering one-year contracts, with the offer of another year as a clause in the renewal. This has been in place for a number of years now.

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The Spanish attacking midfielder has been a good player for United during the past five years but for me, he is past his best. Against Liverpool on Sunday, the 30-year-old was injured and will now sit on the sidelines with a hamstring injury which could mean him being out of action for a number of weeks, depending on the actual injury sustained, which might be a tear, meaning weeks on the sidelines, or just a stretched hamstring, which could see him on the sidelines for up to a week or more.

Mata does have some worth in the team but at this stage of his career, that is not as a regular starter, coming off the bench in some matches and starting the matches against the smaller teams in the Premier League, of which many are coming up in the coming weeks and months. Mata has a good footballing mind and that is something that United needs in the team but when he features on the right-wing, the play slows down which is not what needs to be happening. United also need to heavily invest in the squad this summer.

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