Manchester United are reportedly set to offer Juan Mata to Inter Milan as a part of a potential swap deal that would see Joao Mario head to Old Trafford. According to Italian news outlet Calciomercato, Jose Mourinho wants to take his compatriot Joao Mario to Manchester United in the January transfer window.
The Red Devils spent the entire summer chasing Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic after landing Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic. But they ultimately failed to lure the Croatia international to Old Trafford.
There were also reports that United were ready to offer Anthony Martial as a part of the swap deal, with the Frenchman struggling to earn the trust of Mourinho last season. However, Martial’s scintillating form this season has made the United gaffer forget about Perisic.
Instead, the ex-Chelsea manager has changed his stance and is targeting 26-year-old Mario to bolster his midfield options in January, with Marouane Fellaini’s contract set to run out at the end of the season.
The £27m rated Mario has failed to live up to the expectations since joining Inter last summer. While Inter are on top of the Serie A table this term, he’s only started four games in the top flight.
The midfielder showed plenty of promise during his Sporting Lisbon days but has failed to impress his boss Luciano Spalleti. While Mario’s time looks likely to be up in San Siro, it is understandable to see Mourinho’s interest in the Portuguese due to the player’s versatility.
However, Mourinho would be reluctant to give away Mata as part of any deal. The Spaniard may not be the first name on the team-sheet but has been a fan favourite since joining United from Chelsea in 2014.
In addition, Mata’s creativity, flair and penchant for scoring crucial goals have made him a valuable asset, which our manager is not ready to lose. Yet, the 29-year-old has fallen down the pecking order in recent times with the industrious Jesse Lingard now preferred on the right flank.
It is also believed that the Inter hierarchy is not convinced with Mata and, however, wants to sign Henrikh Mkhitaryan instead, with the player fading away after a fantastic start to this season.
I personally feel both Mario and Mata have a lot more to offer to their respective clubs. Mata has not been consistent for us but has always been a player ready to give his everything to the team.