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Juan Mata came in as a record signing for Manchester United back in January 2014, and David Moyes expected the world out of him. The Spaniard was forced out of Chelsea by a taskmaster of a manager who demanded a level of defensive work from his attackers that he believed Mata could not provide, so he tried to make a go of things as creator-in-chief at an ailing Manchester United side. However, that plan hasn’t exactly worked out well, as the former Valencia man has failed to shine both under Moyes and Louis van Gaal. Jose Mourinho has now arrived to steady the ship and restore the club to its former glory, but it is widely believed that his arrival will spell the end at another club for Mata, particularly given the attacking signings that have been made already this summer and the continued pursuit of Paul Pogba,

But a player of Mata’s unquestionable capability should not necessarily be cast aside just because it didn’t work out last time.

STAT ATTACK:

There are just a few better players at picking out a final ball than Mata. Since he moved to Chelsea in the summer of 2011, only David Silva(50) has racked up more assists or created more chances than he (40). Prior to Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge, Mata was making less than one tackle per 90 minutes played. Unsurprisingly, under the Portuguese’s tutelage that rate almost doubled. And no harm was done to his play-making: he laid on a chance for a team-mate at almost the exact same rate – more than three every 90 minutes – both before and after Mourino’s arrival. In fact, in the six months he spent under Mourinho, he created chances more frequently than any other Chelsea player.

However, unfortunately, both his bosses at Manchester United have failed to get the best out of him, as he has either been played out of position or in teams which focused a lot more on defensive shape and possession rather than taking chances and attack. Mata may not be the fastest or the most agile player on the ball, but he is technically gifted, has exquisite vision and also pops in with handy goals every now and then. He made more passes than every United player bar Daley Blind last season, played more key passes than anyone else at the club and also ranked third in the goal-scoring charts. He might not be a typical Mourinho player, but at Chelsea last season he ran out of ideas and it might well have been useful to have a different option available.

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Man United keen to reinforce midfield with this 24-year-old La Liga ace

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Manchester United are keen on signing Marcos Llorente

Manchester United are keen on reinforcing their midfield by signing Spanish midfielder Marcos Llorente. (h/t Manchester Evening News)

The 24-year-old who plays for Atletico Madrid has impressed at the Wanda Metropolitano following his move from city rivals Real Madrid.

Llorente has made 17 appearances for Atletico this season , with a majority of them coming off the bench.(h/t Whoscored)

Marcos Llorente

Having started just 3 La Liga matches this season, a loan move to United could be of interest to both parties.

The Red Devils are currently short of players in midfield after the injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

Llorente is an assured passer of the ball and can play in central midfield in both a defensive and a holding role.

He is also an aggressive ball winner and will add much-needed energy in the United midfield. At 6 feet tall, Llorente is also an imposing presence who can deal with the physical aspect of the Premier League.

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The Spaniard came through the Real Madrid academy and has made 22 appearances for the Los Blancos.

He was a part of the Real Madrid squad that won the UEFA Champions League in 2018.

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Man United veteran agrees to move to Serie A side for £1.3million in January

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United skipper Ashley Young agrees to move to Inter Milan

Inter Milan have agreed on the transfer of Manchester United captain Ashley Young for £1.3million in the January transfer window. (h/t Guardian)

The 34-year-old will undergo a medical on Friday prior to signing an 18-month deal with the Italian giants.

Young will join up with former United teammates Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez as Antonio Conte’s side aim to win their first Serie A in 10 years.

Ashley Young
Ashley Young

Antonio Conte has been a long term admirer of Young and even tried to sign him when he was at Chelsea. United were initially reluctant to sanction the player’s move in the middle of the season.

With the player keen on the switch and the prospect of losing him on a free in the summer seem to have convinced the United hierarchy to cash in on the veteran in the January transfer window.

Young joined United in the summer of 2011 and has gone on to make 261 appearances for the English giants.

The veteran, who started off as a winger has predominantly played at full-back for United the previous few seasons.

He took over as captain from Antonio Valencia at the beginning of this season

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United are 5th in the league, 5 points off Chelsea in fourth ahead of the match against arch-rivals Liverpool at Anfield.

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Man Utd agree on contract terms with midfielder who could be signed for £51m

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Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United have reportedly agreed on terms with Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United have reportedly agreed on terms with Portuguese star Bruno Fernandes. (h/t Sun)

The player has reportedly agreed on a Manchester United contract until 2025 worth £5milion-a-year ahead of a £51m transfer in the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old has played 25 times for Sporting this season and has scored 13 goals and 10 assists. (h/t Whoscored)

Bruno Fernandes

United were to make their first formal offer for the player. It is being reported now that the deal has already been agreed upon. (h/t Sun)

It’s claimed that Fernandes has been offered a deal nearing £100,000-a-week at United.

The signing of the Sporting skipper should provide the United midfield with numbers and an attacking impetus.

The midfielder has an £85million release clause in his contract but Old Trafford bosses have been working to drive the price down. The club were also open to offering two players to bring the price down. (h/t Sun)

Fernandes was part of the Portuguese squad that won the UEFA Nations League in 2019.

He has won 19 caps for the Portuguese national side and has scored 2 goals since making his debut in 2017.

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United next play Manchester City in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semifinals at the Etihad on Wednesday.

The Red Devils trail 3-1 from the first leg as they aim to get to their first final under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.

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Transfer news: Man United in talks to seal £60m deal for 13-goal star

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Manchester United are in talks to sign Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United are ready to firm up their interest in Sporting Lison midfielder Bruno Fernandes. (h/t BBC)

The Portuguese midfielder is also keen on a move to Old Trafford with a fee of £60m being touted. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and assistant, Mike Phelan, watched Fernandes play against FC Porto on 5th January.

Midfield is a position where United are thin in numbers. Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini weren’t replaced and the likes of Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba are out injured.

Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes

Signing Fernandes will not just give United options in a depleted area of the squad but also add some much-needed quality to the attack. Sporting are already in the process of replacing the midfielder and are exploring alternatives. (h/t Guardian)

United were constantly linked with the player in the summer but it amounted to nothing. Fernandes extended his contract at Sporting until 2023 in November.

The 25-year-old has played 25 times for Sporting this season and has scored 13 goals and 10 assists. (h/t Whoscored)

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Fernandes was a part of the Portuguese squad that won the UEFA Nations League in 2019. United are currently 5th in the table, 5 points off 4th-placed Chelsea. We next face arch-rivals, Liverpool, at Anfield in the English Premier League.

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