Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not surprised that clubs are interested in signing Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata.
The Spaniard’s current deal expires in the summer, and the club do hold the option to extend it for a further year.
But, with interest from abroad, Solskjaer said the 32-year-old is able to speak to other clubs should he want to.
What has Solskjaer said?
It was put to the United manager that there has been interest from abroad in Mata, to which he replied: “I’m not surprised there are teams that are interested in him.
"One, he’s a very good footballer, two, he’s a fantastic professional and human being.
“When the contracts are running towards the end there will be interest, I’m sure Juan has been able to speak to other clubs if he wants to. I keep in touch with him all the time anyway, we have a good dialogue.”
How many times has Mata played this season?
He has made just 12 appearances in all competitions this season and just four starts in the Premier League. His two goals this campaign came in the Carabao Cup against Luton and Brighton, where he also got an assist.
Since joining United in 2014, he has made 267 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring 50 goals and assisting 47 more.
Who is interested in signing Mata?
Serie A trio Inter, Roma and Juventus are just three of the clubs who are said to have registered an interest in the former Chelsea man.
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Despite his lack of minutes on the pitch, Mata has had a key role to play at United this season off the pitch. His experience and mentoring has helped what is a young dressing room and he has been key in assisting in training.
He showed in the Carabao Cup games he started earlier in the season that he is still a useful squad player and, coupled with his maturity and experience in the dressing room, he has still been key.
But, with playing minutes lacking, it’s understandable he would want to look elsewhere. Solskjaer will not be able to offer him reassurances over more playing time as there is a long list of players ahead of him in the pecking order, and more on the horizon pushing through.