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Real Sociedad Target Manchester United Midfielder In January, Ralf Rangnick Won’t Stand In His Way

Rory O'Callaghan

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Real Sociedad Target Manchester United Midfielder In January, Ralf Rangnick Won’t Stand In His Way

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Real Sociedad are keen to sign Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata in January, according to reports.

The Sun claim the Spanish club are hopeful of persuading United to release Mata as a free agent next month.

The 33-year-old has just six months remaining on his current deal at Old Trafford and will not be offered a new contract.

Mata is yet to make a Premier League appearance this season (Image: Alamy)
Mata is yet to make a Premier League appearance this season (Image: Alamy)

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Mata has made 276 appearances for United, scoring 51 goals, since joining in a £37m move from Chelsea in 2014.

However, he has found first-team opportunities limited in recent seasons and is yet to make a Premier League appearance in the current campaign.

Sociedad are keen to sign the Spain international as they continue their push for Champions League football.

The San Sebastian club are currently sixth in La Liga and remain only a point off the top four, despite a run of five league games without a win.

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According to the report, United interim manager Ralf Rangnick will not stand in Mata’s way if he wants to leave the club.

But the Spaniard is likely to have to take a significant a pay cut if he is to join Sociedad.

The Sun also claim Barcelona are interested in Mata and could challenge Sociedad for his signature.

The cash-strapped Catalan club could be on the lookout for free agents in January, having already forked out £55m to sign Ferran Torres from Manchester City.

The Spaniard has just six months left on his deal at Old Trafford (Image: Alamy)
The Spaniard has just six months left on his deal at Old Trafford (Image: Alamy)

Mata was linked with a move to Nou Camp back in 2014 before he eventually joined United.

Earlier this month, Mata was recognised by UEFA for his role with Common Goal, the charity that he co-founded in 2017.

The project sees players, managers and other figures from the world of football donate one percent of their salary to charitable causes.

Mata was named as one of three recipients of UEFA’s #EqualGame Awards, which “celebrate outstanding work in promoting inclusion and diversity in football”.

“I was lucky enough to go and see first-hand the amazing work that the organisations that we work with do,” Mata told UEFA.

Barcelona are also reportedly interested in Mata (Image: Alamy)
Barcelona are also reportedly interested in Mata (Image: Alamy)

“The warmth and the welcome they gave us, it was an incredibly happy moment. But also it was sad for us to see how many people in this world still have to live under difficult conditions.

“I was proud of the work that our organisations are doing there and proud of the stories of people that have overcome difficult problems. This is what we want to do through Common Goal, give people the choice to decide their futures.

“It has definitely improved and developed me as a person that’s for sure. I always say the same, football is a great sport but it’s much more than that.”

Topics: Juan Mata, Manchester United, Real Sociedad, Transfers, La Liga, Premier League, Football

Rory O'Callaghan
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