Man Utd: Mata jokes he 'doesn’t remember' 2015 Liverpool clash
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Manchester United are primed to keep Juan Mata at the club for another year, according to reports. However, the Red Devils will allow the Spain international to leave should they receive a bid of around £5million. The former Chelsea star has been a good asset for the club ever since his arrival back in the January transfer window of 2014.
Manchester United have struggled with signings in the years since Sir Alex Ferguson walked away.
The likes of Angel Di Maria, Alexis Sanchez, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Radamel Falcao have all flopped, despite their big reputations.
Yet Mata has been a shining light ever since his move from Chelsea seven years ago.
The Spain international helped the club win the FA Cup in 2015, scoring in the 2-1 final victory over Crystal Palace, and has also played a key role in the club’s Carabao Cup and Europa League triumphs under Jose Mourinho.
Mata has struggled for game time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.
Yet the Daily Star say United want to keep hold of the playmaker and are ready to trigger the option of a one-year extension in his contract.
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Solskjaer values the former Valencia star for his experience, especially with the Norwegian’s squad one of the youngest in the entire Premier League.
And Mata is said to be happy to stay in Manchester.
However, the club are also willing to act to protect the midfielder’s value. And they’ll reportedly demand a fee of £5m should anybody try and sign Mata this summer.
He could find himself even further down Solskjaer’s pecking order next term, however.
United are eyeing reinforcements in attack, with Borussia Dortmund pair Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho still on their transfer radar.
And the arrival of more forwards could see him struggle.
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Meanwhile, speaking last year, Mata insisted he was happy with his United career and admitted he’d love to stay at the club for as long as possible.
He said: “It feels like it has gone very quickly, it feels like time flies. I feel proud.
“When you play your first game you feel like you are in a new beginning, a very exciting moment in your life playing for this club.
“I don’t want to stop here, I want to keep going and going, and keep adding games in a United shirt.
Opening up on his move from Chelsea in 2014, he said: “I have to start with the day I arrived and the way I arrived in helicopter. It was unforgettable.
“David Moyes was welcoming me to the club, De Gea was also waiting there. After that, my debut, we played against Cardiff with Ole as Cardiff manager so that’s always forever in my memory.”
Meanwhile, United are in Premier League action against Brighton tonight.
And, speaking before that game, Solskjaer has made it clear he wants Paul Pogba to stay at the club.
“While he’s been at the club Paul has always wanted what is best for Man United,” the Norwegian declared. “He’s been such an important part of the squad on and off the pitch.
“Paul is a player we want to see at Man United and play well. Just to have him back fit for the last two months, he’s going to be important to us.
“We know he can be the difference between many, many points or going through in Europe like we did against AC Milan.
“The focus is now on finishing the season strongly and Paul knows what my thoughts are.”
Solskjaer also thinks Pogba’s return from injury will be a ‘massive boost’ to his side.
“It’ll be a massive boost and he’s come back bright and he’s ready to go,” the United manager said. “We know how important he will be for us and how important he has been.
“To have players of his quality out for longer periods, that just shows the quality of the others as well.
“But towards the end of the season now, having Paul back fit and getting our forwards back firing again, hopefully we can get that spark and score more goals again.”
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