Arsenal consider cut-price move for unwanted Manchester United attackerPublished August 8, 2016
Arsenal are considering launching a surprise bid for unwanted Manchester United star Juan Mata as Arsene Wenger seeks to beef up his options in the final third.
The Spanish international suffered the ignominy of being a subbed sub during yesterday’s Community Shield triumph, strengthening speculation that Jose Mourinho is ready to offload Mata.
Mourinho offloaded Mata to United during their shared time at Stamford Bridge and seemingly there is no love lost between the pair, indeed reports suggest the stylish attacking midfielder had to be restrained by coaching staff at the final whistle at Wembley.
Arsene Wenger is known to hold a real interest in Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez but having trailed the Algerian for a number of weeks the Arsenal manager is looking at alternatives to boost his attack and the veteran coach is said to be a big fan of Mata.
Wenger has always taken a keen interest in versatile talents and Mata’s ability to play on either flank as well as in a central role could prove key to his push to snap up the 28-year-old.
Ever the shrewd transfer fund spender, Wenger may feel he can pick up Mata ‘on the cheap’ given the situation the player finds himself in.
Aside from Mourinho’s apparent feelings towards Mata it’s also worth noting that the emergence of Marcus Rashford and the continued progress shown by Jesse Lingard, coupled with the signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan has left the playmaker some way down the pecking order at Old Trafford.
Arsenal can offer Mata Champions League action in 2016/17 and a better chance of regular first team action, not least as wide-man Danny Welbeck is out until the new year with a knee injury.
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The likes of Joel Campbell and Theo Walcott continue to struggle to cement a role in the Arsenal starting eleven, leaving room for Mata to make an impact.
It’s fair to say that Mata’s time at Manchester United has been solid if not spectacular, the £37m signing netting 21 goals and racking up 13 assists in 86 Premier League appearances for the club.
Arsenal could arguably pick up Mata for a fee of around £20m, especially as Mourinho will be looking to balance the books following major additions to his squad, the additions of Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly setting the club back over £60m with Paul Pogba’s likely arrival costing a further £90m+.