A summer move to Leeds United is reportedly the most likely scenario for Juan Mata after he rejected several ‘important offers’ from other teams.
Mata made 285 appearances during an eight and a half year spell at Manchester United, registering 51 goals and 47 assists. The attacking midfielder is now a free agent following the expiry of his Man Utd contract earlier this summer.
In July, Spanish outlet AS revealed Leeds to be in talks with Mata over a surprise switch to Elland Road.
The player’s entourage are apparently keen to make the transfer a reality. And Mata is willing to take a significant pay cut to join Jesse Marsch’s side.
At Man Utd, he took home £160,000 a week. But this is out of Leeds’ reach, so the playmaker will have to settle for at least 50 per cent less if he is to sign.
Spanish newspaper Marca provide an update, as cited by CaughtOffside. They claim Mata had proposals from Major League Soccer and some ‘exotic countries’.
However, he wants to remain in Europe for at least a couple more seasons. As such, these ‘important offers’ have been pushed back.
The proposal Leeds sent to Mata’s agent and father in July is now the only one that remains. This puts the Whites in the driving seat to land Mata, which would give the 34-year-old the chance to continue his Premier League journey.
Juan Mata close to joining Leeds
Marca state Mata’s future will be decided in the next few weeks. And while other clubs are likely to move for the Spaniard, Leeds are in a strong position as they are his transfer priority.
While Mata is past his best, it would still be an exciting transfer for the West Yorkshire club to complete.
Mata is a serial winner, having lifted huge trophies such as the World Cup, European Championship and Champions League during a glittering career.
The veteran star would be a great voice in the dressing room. He never causes problems if he is left on the bench. Plus, he would be able to work with the likes of Brenden Aaronson and Luis Sinisterra to help them become even better players.
Then there is Mata’s impact on the pitch. He is quality on the ball and has the ability to put in deadly set pieces, which Patrick Bamford could thrive on.
The playmaker was reduced to rare substitute appearances during his latter years at Old Trafford. And while he will not feature in every Leeds match, Mata is likely to play more regularly for the Whites.
Leeds chief Victor Orta just needs to meet Mata’s demands to help the move go through. This includes a decent wage, probably around £70k-80k a week, which will last for two years. This is how long Mata wants to remain at the highest level before potentially retiring or going to MLS.
Meanwhile, Leeds could bring in Arnaud Kalimuendo alongside Mata after PSG opted to sell the French striker.
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