Mark Ogden has reported that Atletico want to hijack United’s deal for Mata by giving David Moyes preference to buy both Diego Costa and Filipe Luis if United’s advances for Mata are ceased because they want to bring him to Spain.
It was The Telegraph who were the first to run with the Mata stories yesterday and while this sounds a little far fetched, they are usually quite a credible source.
Costa has been prolific in La Liga with 19 goals this season and has a well documented release clause of £37 million while 28-year-old left back Luis, valued at £18 million, could be a great alternative to Fabio Coentrao and would be available in January.
Both players would no doubt be great additions to United but what deal would best suit us?
Currently, United have four great strikers in the squad and Costa’s arrival could only happen if one departed. That may well happen in the summer so in that respect, 25-year-old Costa would be an ideal replacement for Rooney or Van Persie if they were to leave.
Also, there is no questioning that United are in real need of a new left back but the prospect of signing Mata is just too good to turn down. Costa wouldn’t leave Atletico until the end of the season in any case which means we would miss out on Mata to sign Luis in January. That isn’t worth it.
Mata might not be the exact type of player we all imagined we need at this time but then again, neither was Robin van Persie when we signed him. Look how that turned out.
The capture of Mata is more than just about the quality he would add to the team. He would send ripples right through the club in much the same fashion as Mesut Ozil’s arrival did at Arsenal. It would lift everyone at Old Trafford and that’s why, tempting as it might be to think about Costa and Luis, United shouldn’t consider being persuaded out of a Mata deal.