According to the latest reports from Daily Star, Newcastle United are interested in bringing in Manchester United’s playmaker Juan Mata. The Spaniard is going to be out of contract in the next few weeks, and the Magpies are eyeing a move for him. Rafa Benitez had previously worked with Mata when he was the manager of Chelsea and guided them to the Europa League title.
Benitez is said to be the one who is interested in Mata and United are only likely to sign him if the Spanish tactician extends his stay at St. James’ Park. However, even then it isn’t going to be straightforward for the Toon as Mata is also linked with Valencia and Barcelona.
Mata’s wages could also test Mike Ashley’s resolve as the 31-year-old earns £140,000 a week at Manchester United. Benitez reportedly wants Newcastle to pay more competitive salaries to lure top players. Mata hasn’t been a regular feature for the Red Devils in the past few seasons, and he has only played a limited role.
Nevertheless, he has managed to make an impact more often than not, and Newcastle United seems keen to add a creative player to their repertoire.
Will Mata fit in Newcastle United’s system?
The way Benitez sets up the Tyneside outfit, we don’t see Mata as an ideal for player for them. However, maybe Benitez might want to play an extravagant and more offensive brand of football in the next season. With limited resources, the manager has done well as he sets up his team conservatively and organisation in midfield and defence are his key features. However, the Toon attack in numbers when they get the ball.
Mata can bring in that quality on the ball, but he is not known for his work rate in midfield. Nevertheless, he could be an impact player for his side and can help United to score more goals and play a more eye-catching brand of football. The Magpies recently broke their transfer record to sign Miguel Almiron who was brought in to boost their attacking displays. Therefore there seems to be a conscious shift from Benitez to change Newcastle United into playing more offensive football.
Can Newcastle lure him?
On a free transfer, Mata is going to be a decent signing for the club, but it would be tough for them to beat Valencia and Barcelona in the transfer market. Valencia can offer him Champions League football, and Mata already had a positive first spell with the Spanish outfit from 2007-11.
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