Manchester United are keen to open contract discussions with midfielder Juan Mata, and are aiming to have renewed the Spaniard’s deal by the end of October.
Mata’s current contract expires at the end of the season, meaning he will be free to discuss a new contract with any overseas clubs in January. As it stands, he is set to leave the club at the end of the season, but the Red Devils are hoping to avoid losing Mata next summer.
The 30-year-old is believed to be keen on renewing his deal but, according to The Sun, there have been several issues which have delayed any successful contract discussions. Senior club officials are hoping to sit down with Mata‘s agent, who is also his father, as soon as possible in order to convince the Spaniard to remain at the club.
The Sun claim to have spoken with a source from within Old Trafford, who said: “Mata’s dad is a tough negotiator and it has not gone down well how this situation has been allowed to drag on.
“United will try their best to convince them to stay, but it is by no means certain that even extra cash will do the trick.
“It’s purely about playing for Juan. The club know they have left it late and are desperately running out of time.
“They are playing catch-up because of various contract issues and the problems on the pitch being a priority to sort.”
Mata has been linked with a return to former club Valencia, with the La Liga side initially registering their interest in the midfielder following the Champions League clash between the two sides in early October.
This season, the diminutive playmaker has started just two Premier League games for Jose Mourinho’s side. He has been a key player for the team in recent years, but there are concerns over his long-term role at the club.