JUVENTUS are keen on bringing Manchester United’s Juan Mata to the club as uncertainty over the Spaniard’s future at Old Trafford continues to grow.
The 30-year-old is out-of-contract at the end of the season and could leave for nothing.
Mata’s future at United looks uncertainReuters
Mata is free to speak to overseas clubs from the start of January, giving Juve a jump-start on any Premier League rivals for his signature.
Arsenal have been linked with having an interest with Unai Emery keen to reunite with Mata following their spell together at Valencia.
But according to the Evening Standard they will face competition from the Serie A champions who are looking to make Mata their latest free agent signing.
Max Allegri’s side lured Emre Can away from Liverpool last summer and have previously secured moves for Frenchman Patrice Evra, Germany World Cup winner Sami Khedira and Brazil’s Dani Alves.
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Can moved to the Juventus Stadium for nothing in the summer.Getty Images – Getty
With just four starts in their 10 Premier League games this season, Mata remains an often overlooked figure at Old Trafford.
Jose Mourinho’s arrival at United in the summer of 2016 was expected to trigger the exit of the Spain international – who was offloaded by the Portuguese coach at Chelsea – and though Mata has stayed his opportunities have not improved.
Reports last month suggested United were nonetheless keen on beginning talks regarding a new deal with Mata and his agent and father, Juan Snr.
At the start of the year, United triggered an option to extend Mata’s contract by 12 months and Mourinho spoke in glowing terms regarding the playmaker.
Emery worked with Mata for three years at Valencia.Getty Images – Getty
“Mata is very important,” he said. “He is another one, big story when I arrived one and a half years ago – ‘Mata in trouble, in trouble, in trouble’.
“Now he’s getting an extension of one more year. (He is) an important player for me, an important player for the club, an important player for the other players.”
Though Arsenal are down the pecking order, Emery and Mata’s previous relationship could yet prove decisive should talks ever reach an advanced stage.
Mata worked under the tactician from 2008-2010 and speaking in an authorised autobiography about Emery lavished praise on his coaching methods.
Mata spent four seasons at Valencia, winning the Copa del Rey in 2008.Action Images
“I think what’s special about Unai is the way he communicates,” Mata said in Unai Emery: El Maestro.
“In his talks, he used to write three, four or five things on the board: those were the points he was going to bring up.
“Sometimes it was five phrases or metaphors he was going to explain. I’ve never seen that with my other managers.
“They usually revolved around phrases about positivity, camaraderie, the values he wanted to create in his team.
“He communicated by means of the points he had written down.
“His talks could go on and on because he didn’t notice the time, but what he said was always intense, and he would ask you questions. It became a kind of seminar.”