While Valencia’s club President Manuel Llorente has insisted that his young left midfield star, Juan Mata is not for sale, reports continue to link him away from Spain and interestingly, with the two English sides Arsenal and Manchester United.
The Mail now reports that both clubs have registered a real interest in Mata, and that if Valencia were to received a £20 million bid for the 23 year-old, it would be enough to persuade Valencia to let him go.
A move for Mata from either Manchester United or Arsenal will depend on what happens with the current transfer sagas surrounding the two clubs. That is, if Manchester United do end up signing Wesley Sneijder in the ongoing, rather confusing negotiations which according to some, are taking place, and according to others are not.
Indeed in Arsenal’s case, a move for Mata much depends on whether or not they can keep hold Samir Nasri and/or Cesc Fabregas this summer. Nasri looks set to stay at Arsenal and run down his contract to go for free next summer, but Barcelona are continuing to circle over Cesc Fabregas and look as likely as ever to snap him up for a lucrative transfer fee.
Theo Walcott’s recent admission that he would like to be given the chance to play centrally as a goal scoring striker, it could leave room on the wing for another player to step in. Mata could easily be that player – a winger with bags of pace and the superb ability to beat a man, combined with great technical ability, providing that creative spark needed.
Mata has made 172 appearances for Valencia, scoring 46 goals, and has a contract with the Spanish side until 2015. However, Valencia’s money struggles have been well documented, resulting in the past in the sale of David Villa and David Silva to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively, so £20 million will do well to add further stability to the clubs finances.
If Manchester United do decide to go in for the player, they have a special advantage over other clubs in the fact that Ryan Giggs is still at the club. The United legend is an idol of Mata’s, and the chance to be mentored by his idol would certainly be a huge attraction.