Juan Mata becomes the latest global footballing superstar who has been linked with a lucrative move to the emerging Chinese Super League, according to a report from Mirror Sport.
Mata only arrived at Manchester United from Chelsea two years ago in a £37m deal but was believed to be looking for a move back to Spain at the end of this season with Atletico Madrid being the interested club.
Diego Simeone’s La Liga outfits showed immense interest in the 27-year-old midfielder last month but didn’t able to raise the funds to succeed a £30m deal and match his £170,000 a week wages.
However, the stylish Spaniard could be ready for a sensational move to the Far East after it was reported at least three Chinese clubs to have been in contact with Manchester United to make a potential transfer.
Chinese Super League has made massive waves in the transfer window this year and their financial muscle has seen them even hijack the likes of Ramires, Jackson Martinez and Alex Teixeira from under the noses of Premier League giants.
Now Mata could become the latest superstar to step into the revolution as he is not likely to be handed an extension on his contract that still has two years left to run. A switch to the Chinese Super League would also give the Spaniard an opportunity to escape the hell he is suffering under Louis van Gaal as Manchester United seem like a shadow of their former selves.
Also, if Mourinho replaces LVG soon Mata’s future could become more uncertain. Jose Mourinho has been widely regarded as the replacement for Louis van Gaal at Manchester United this summer, and few days ago there were reports which claimed Juan Mata would be shown the door upon the arrival of the Portuguese pragmatist. The 53-year-old manager said to have insisted on sanctioning the sale of the former Chelsea playmaker whilst discussing terms with Red Devils executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward. The former Blues manager was actually behind Chelsea’s decision to allow the Spaniard to complete his £37million Manchester United move in January 2014
A source close to the Spaniard reportedly said: “Juan was happy to return to Spain but now the Chinese have shown their hands, the money is very difficult to turn down.”
Mata started Manchester United’s 2-1 defeat to Sunderland on Saturday and his team next face FC Midtjylland in a last-32 Europa League encounter.