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Juan Mata to be handed three-year contract at Manchester United – reports

Manchester United are reportedly offering Juan Mata a three-year contract to remain at the Old Trafford club this summer. The 31-year-old will be out of contract at the end of the month and previously, players over the age of 30 would be offered a one year contract to renew with the club. It would seem that if this is correct, Mata will be staying at United.

This mentality, which is similar to that shown last summer when Marouane Fellaini was allowed to run his contract down, seemingly leaving the club, then re-signing on a new contract, which was short-lived after the Belgian midfielder was allowed to leave the club for Shandong Luneng Taishan FC in China during the transfer window in January.

The reports of Mata’s new deal have been reported by The Sun and The Mirror but the source of the information is a Spanish newspaper called Sport. However, The Mirror suggests that the extension is a one-year contract, which could be alongside the normal one-year clause, meaning the player could, in effect, remain at the club for two years.

If this is the case, or that the player has been handed a one-year contract only, this is the right direction for the club but only if Mata is playing a bit-part role for the club or will be playing in a more accommodation position based on his lack of pace – possibly the number ten position. Seeing him on the right-wing is not what any supporter wants to see as it has not worked out for him in that role, with him moving more centrally.

If the reports of Mata being handed a three-year contract are true when the whole direction of the club is not going to change. It was suggested that United would be taking a new direction starting this summer, targeting youth players who have the talent and ambition to play for United. However, if it is now a priority to re-sign players whose best days are behind them, it would suggest that any youthful talents would be overlooked.

United’s was of doing things needs a complete overhaul. The executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, seems to be out of his depth in terms of running the football side of things. His transfer strategy is one that has not worked, will never work and sees a lot of wasted money, putting United so far behind their rivals than they once were. With Woodward at the helm, United are heading further away from the identity they once had.

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