Leeds ‘are in talks with Juan Mata and he wants to move to Elland Road’ despite being a cult hero at their fierce rivals Manchester United as 34-year-old free agent looks for new club after his Old Trafford exit
- Leeds want to sign former Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata
- They have held talks with Mata, and the player wants to move to Elland Road
- Joining Leeds could be seen as a controversial move for the Spanish playmaker
- This is due to the fierce rivalry that exists between Leeds and Man United
The 34-year-old left Old Trafford at the end of last month when his contract expired, and he is currently looking for a new club.
He has been attracting plenty of interest, and Leeds’ sporting director Victor Orta has reached out to Mata’s father to gauge the possibility of the Spanish international moving to Elland Road, according to AS.
Juan Mata bid farewell to Manchester United when his contract expired last month
Mata built a strong relationship with United’s fanbase during his time at Old Trafford
Turkish giants Galatasaray and Besiktas are also keen on Mata, but neither have made an official proposal to the player.
Leeds have made Mata a ‘concrete offer’, and although negotiations are not progressing at great pace, it is understood that there is a willingness on both sides to get a deal done.
Mata established himself as a cult hero during his eight years on the red side of Manchester, playing 285 games and scoring 51 goals for United during this period.
He posted an emotional video online when he departed the club, and declared that representing the Red Devils had made him ‘the proudest man in the world’.
Mata could be set to risk damaging his reputation at United by joining Jesse Marsch’s Leeds
There is a fierce rivalry between the two teams, and Anthony Elanga was hit by a coin last term
However, he could be set to risk tarnishing his reputation with United fans if he does complete his switch to Leeds, given the fierce rivalry that exists between the two clubs.
The dislike between the two teams was highlighted again last season when United winger Anthony Elanga was hit by a coin thrown from the crowd at Elland Road.
Meanwhile, Kalvin Phillips turned his back on a potential move to Old Trafford out of loyalty to Leeds this summer, prior to joining Manchester City instead.
Mata seems open to moving across the Pennines, though, and fans may not have seen the last of him in the Premier League after all.