Italian giants AS Roma have been pursuing Leicester City’s want-away player Riyad Mahrez for most of the summer, but may turn their attention to Manchester United’s Spanish international Juan Mata should the deal for Mahrez not happen.
It was Mourinho, during his time at Chelsea, who initially sold Mata to United for £37.1 million. When Mourinho subsequently joined United as manager, Mata feared for his place, especially as he started as substitute in Mourinho’s first game as United boss, the 2016 Community Shield – and though he went on for Jesse Lingard, he was then substituted back off in extra time for Henrikh Mkhitaryan. However, he then became an integral part of United’s domestic and European campaign and any issues between him and Mourinho seem to have settled.
But Roma will make a strong bid for Mata should they turn their attention from Mahrez, who is now apparently claiming he wants to stay in the Premier League, and hoping that Chelsea or Arsenal make a move for him. They could offer around £30 million for Mata, which at 29 would be a fee very hard to turn down, even for United. Whilst Mourinho won’t want to necessarily lose his asset, he will be aware Mata only has one more year left on his existing United contract, and he has depth in the attacking midfield area, which is Mata’s primary role at Old Trafford.
It will be extremely interesting to see how this develops – especially in view of the increasingly likely chance that Ivan Perisic will not now be joining United from Inter Milan.
JUAN MATA – MANCHESTER UNITED CAREER IN NUMBERS
- 146 Total Appearances
- 36 Goals
- 4 Trophies Won
- 9 International Appearances
- 1 International Goal