Juan Mata is a wanted man and will be tempted with an offer to return to his old club.
The Manchester United midfielder has found his game time limited this season due to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer putting more and more faith in younger players.
It has been widely expected that Mata would stay on at Old Trafford in a coaching role when he retires but the invitation from Valencia owner Peter Lim would offer the Spaniard a chance to continue playing at the top level and return to his former club after a ten year absence.
Mata was a product of Real Madrid’s academy but his first senior club was Valencia, for whom he played 174 games, scoring 46 goals and providing 52 assists between the ages of 19 and 23.
And according to Spanish outlet Larazon.es, los Che’s owner Peter Lim wants to bring Mata back to the club on a free transfer in June when his United contract expires.
‘Peter Lim has given the go-ahead for Juan Mata‘s return to Valencia,’ the outlet says.
‘Although returning to los Che might not be an attractive option for the 32-year-old attacker precisely because of Peter Lim’s presence at the club, he welcomes the Spaniard’s return when his contract with Manchester United ends.
‘Valencia are still looking for buyers for its best players with the aim of cleaning up its accounts and see a market opportunity in recruiting Juan Mata at zero cost.
‘And this is how the Mestalla club intends to strengthen in the winter market, at zero cost or with players who are currently without a team.’
There are several obstacles to the move. One, as La Razon notes, is that Peter Lim is an unpopular figure at the La Liga side. He has failed to support a string of coaches and has plunged the club into debt, which has led to them having to sell a large part of the first team squad just to avoid bankruptcy.
Another problem is that United still have the option of extending Mata’s contract at Old Trafford by one more year and could do so to avoid him leaving for free.
But on the other hand, Mata is still only 32 years old and the prospect of playing two or three more years at the top level and helping his first club to recover from their crisis could be a challenge that he cannot resist.
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