Thursday, September 29, 2022

Manchester United Playmaker Receives Lucrative Contract Offer From Saudi Arabia: Should Ole Let Him Go?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent edition of the Transfer Window Podcast (transcripted by the Daily Express), football consultant Ian McGarry has revealed that Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata has received a lucrative contract worth around $15m net per year to join the Saudi Arabian league. McGarry said, “We will start at Old Trafford with a shock move for fan favourite Juan Mata, who has been offered a very, very lucrative deal to move from Manchester to Saudi Arabia.

“It’s our offer that Mata has an offer worth around $15million net per year to go and play in the Saudi Arabian league.

“It’s not at this moment in time that Manchester United have entered negotiations, we can’t disclose the name of the club at this moment in time.

“But we are certain that the offer is there, his father, who is his agent, is confident that Manchester United would release Mata on freedom of contract after he had his contract extended by the optional year in his current deal over the summer.

“Mata himself is yet to commit; however, at those kind of numbers, you would have to think he would be tempted.”

Mata’s Influential Yet Sporadic Role At Old Trafford In Recent Years

The Burgos-born talent has made a vibrant start to this campaign after giving a good account of himself in the EFL Cup over the past few weeks. Mata has scored two goals and provided one assist in two appearances for Man United in the League Cup thus far. His attacking contributions have helped the Red Devils set up a quarterfinal date with Everton in that competition.

However, the Spanish veteran has struggled to get himself involved in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Premier League plans for this season so far. Hence, the 32-year-old could be tempted to move to Saudi Arabia as he looks to end his career on a high and with plenty of money in the bank.

Manchester United's Mata receives lucrative contract offer (Mata is in action in the picture)
Juan Mata of Manchester United battles for possession with Dan Burn of Brighton and Hove Albion during the Carabao Cup fourth round match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at Amex Stadium on September 30, 2020, in Brighton, England. Football Stadiums around the United Kingdom remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Matt Dunham – Pool/Getty Images)

Mata featured in 37 matches for the Mancunian giants in the previous campaign, registering three goals and seven assists in various competitions. Despite his struggles to earn regular game time in the English top-flight, the Spanish attacker did well to average 1.5 shots, 1.9 key passes and 1.4 dribbles per game in the UEFA Europa League last season. He even managed to distribute the ball with some accuracy as evident from his pass success rate of 86.2% in Europe (stats via whoscored).

What Does The Ex-Chelsea Winger Add To Ole Gunnar Solskajer’s Team?

At 32, Mata has not been the quickest of players in Man United’s squad, but he has shown that he can still be an important contributor for them in terms of what he can offer in the cup competitions. The 41-time Spanish international can score and create goals from time to time which makes him a valuable member of Solskjaer’s match-day squad for this season. However, his lack of pace can sometimes make him a liability on the field against the high-calibre oppositions.

Should The Red Devils Part Ways With Mata?

Mata has been a wonderful servant to the club, so the Red Devils should not stand in his way if he wants a move to Saudi Arabia to start the next chapter of his career. He has given his best years to the Mancunian club and has earned the right to leave on his own term. However, if the Spaniard is willing to stay, then there is no reason why Solskjaer should get him out of the door as he can still play an influential role for them over the next ten months.

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