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Mata keeps Man Utd guessing with contract comments

13:02 BST 08/04/2019
Juan Mata Man Utd 2018
The Spaniard will see his current deal expire at the end of the season and is yet to agree fresh terms which would extend his spell at Old Trafford

Juan Mata is keeping Manchester United guessing on his future plans, with the Spaniard reluctant to be drawn on the chances of a new contract being agreed.

As things stand, the 30-year-old midfielder is due to drop into the free agent pool this summer.

His current deal is running down and no fresh terms have been put in place for a man who arrived at Old Trafford in January 2014.

Mata is believed to be in talks, with it even suggested that United have offered him an ambassadorial role when the day comes to hang up his boots, but no compromise has been reached.

He is not the only one to be in a position of uncertainty, with countrymen Ander Herrera and David de Gea also yet to commit their respective futures to the Red Devils.

Mata is aware of the speculation surrounding all of those in extension discussions, but claims he does not want to become a distraction at a crucial stage of the season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

The World Cup winner told the Manchester Evening News when asked for a contract update: "I don't think right now is a good moment to speak about it.

"Because I prefer to put the team before myself and what we are going to face now is important enough to be focused only on that.

"There have been some rumours about myself and other team-mates over the last week, so I'm not the one who is going to put more questions or raise more comments with what I say.

"So, I prefer to put the team before me and focus on the important task that we have ahead, which is Barcelona. And that's it. I'm sure the fans prefer that because we all want to beat Barcelona, we want to have our heads focused on Barcelona.

"And, again, I don't want to raise any more noise that, to be fair, in the last weeks there has been quite a lot."

Some of the “noise” at United has been quietened by Solskjaer’s penning of a permanent three-year contract.

Mata is delighted to see a coach who impressed in an interim role staying on, with performances and the general mood at Old Trafford having improved since a familiar face was charged with the task of succeeding Jose Mourinho.

He added on Solskjaer: "The first thing I will say about him is he is a great human being.

"He's a great man. And you can see that since day one. Obviously, he's a legend of the club, he's been a player and he's done great things, but his mentality, his way of communicating, his positivity since he came. He was very encouraging for all of us and all the fans and people who love Manchester United.

"So, I'm very happy for him when he got the permanent job because I think he embodies what Manchester United is and he is a great person, so perfect."

Solskjaer’s attention at present is locked on a Champions League quarter-final clash with Barcelona, with a side chasing down a top-four finish in the Premier League set to see their focus shifted when the first leg of a heavyweight European encounter is taken in on Wednesday.