Man Utd star set for showdown talks over new Old Trafford deal

Manchester United are reportedly keen on holding showdown contract talks with playmaker Juan Mata this month.

The 30-year-old will be available on a free transfer this summer and can start negotiating a move away from Old Trafford with foreign clubs in January.

Mata is believed to be keen on staying with the club, although a number of issues both on and off the pitch have seen talks over fresh terms falter, according to the report in The Sun.

A number of top European clubs are said to be eyeing a move for the Spain star, with former side Valencia reported to have shown a firm interest.

But United are aiming to sit down with Mata’s agent and father, Juan Snr, in the next fortnight to try and thrash out a new deal.

An Old Trafford source told The Sun: “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.”

The Spaniard joined the Red Devils in 2014 for £37m and he has gone on to make 144 Premier League appearances and score 31 goals.

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