Italian club Lazio are keen to sign Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata on a free transfer in the summer as claimed by the Italian publisher La Repubblica and Il Tempo (via La Lazio Siamo Noi).
Mata’s contract at United is set to expire this summer. Although the club has the choice of extending it for another year, they are yet to decide.
The same report claims that Mata’s father, who is his agent as well, has “asked for a two-year deal with an option to extend it to the third year.”
The 33-year old player is in the twilight of his career. He joined United in 2014 after having a three-year stint with Chelsea.
He has been an amazing servant to the Red Devils and is certainly someone the younger players should look up to.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been forced to use him in a bit-part role because his pace has dropped considerably.
This season, he has appeared in only 14 games across all competitions, six of which were as a substitute.
Despite his limited playing time, the midfielder has scored two goals and provided two assists.
His last start was in the FA Cup tie against Watford in January 2021. Since then, he has had only 27 minutes of game time.
Solskjaer is interested in bringing another right-winger in the upcoming summer window. This will further limit Mata’s appearances.
Extending his stay at the Theatre of Dreams does not make much sense.
By bidding adieu to the veteran midfielder, United will decrease the load on the wage bill as well.
It’s still unclear if he would like to join Lazio. He will surely be tempted by a Spanish club that offers him a longer contract as a vast majority of players prefer to finish their careers in their home league.
No matter where his future lies, Mata will always be welcomed back with open arms at Old Trafford.
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