According to The Athletic and Diario AS, Juan Mata is poised to quit Manchester United at the end of the season after eight years with the club. The Spaniard’s Old Trafford contract expires in the summer, and he has no plans to extend it.
This season, the former Valencia midfielder has played just 171 minutes and is considering a return to La Liga. He is rumored to be wanted by several Spanish clubs.
Mata’s Return to La Liga
Mata, 33, believes he still has a lot to give after eleven years in the Premier League and is eager to return to Spain. He wants to emulate David Silva, who joined Real Sociedad in the summer of 2020 after a decade with Manchester City.
Mata began his career as a youngster with Real Oviedo and Real Madrid before establishing himself as a senior professional with Valencia at Mestalla. In 2011, he joined Chelsea before moving to United three years later. Since then, he’s played his football at Old Trafford.
He signed a 12-month extension at Old Trafford last summer, but if he decides not to renew his contract, he will become a free agent after the season. As per The Athletic, this development has prompted several LaLiga clubs to inquire about the playmaker.
Departure from Manchester United
Mata has struggled for minutes this season, appearing only on four occasions in the Champions League, FA Cup, and Carabao Cup. He has yet to play in the Premier League this season.
According to The Athletic, the former Spain international is training ‘very well’ and has no current fitness difficulties, which has led to speculation as to why he hasn’t played much this season. Since Ralf Rangnick took over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer earlier this season, he has only played twice.
Mata has 51 goals and 47 assists in 277 games for United, and the Spaniard believes he can still contribute at the greatest level. Mata won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.
Juan Mata’s retirement will open up a first-team spot for the club’s promising youth, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him return to the club as an ambassador once his glittering playing career is over.