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Leeds admiring Juan Mata from afar

Fabrizio Romano has dropped an update on reported Leeds United transfer target Juan Mata.

What’s the latest?

In a recent post on Twitter, the Italian journalist revealed that, despite a number of reports suggesting that the former Manchester United attacking midfielder is close to agreeing a move to Leeds this summer, there are currently no talks ongoing between the 34-year-old and Jesse Marsch’s side.

However, the transfer insider did go on to suggest that Victor Orta does appreciate the former Spain international, something that would appear to back up a report by Spanish publication AS back in July – which suggested that the director of football had contacted Mata’s father regarding a potential switch to Elland Road.

In his post, Romano said: “There’s nothing agreed between Juan Mata and Leeds, despite rumours. He’s appreciated as a top professional and person but no talks ongoing as things stand. Also links to Real Oviedo are wide of the mark – Mata will make a decision on future soon.”

The next Hernandez

While the potential signing of a 34-year-old would not exactly be a deal with the long-term in mind, considering the experience the Spaniard boasts, in addition to the talent the midfielder still possesses, should Orta manage to convince Mata of a move to LS11 this summer, he could well prove to become the Whites’ next Pablo Hernandez.

Indeed, having scored 31 goals and registered 58 assists over 134 appearances for Chelsea, bagged 46 goals and provided 52 assists over 171 fixtures for Valencia, notched 51 goals and registered 47 assists over 285 appearances for Manchester United and scored ten goals over 41 outings for Spain, it is evident that Mata is an extremely deadly asset in and around the opposition penalty area.

Not only would this attacking nouse prove incredibly useful for Marsch and his side on the pitch, but with the likes of Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood and Crysencio Summerville having recently made the step up to senior football, the guidance of a player who has won the World Cup, the European Championship, the Champions League and two Europa Leagues would be invaluable to the Whites’ up and coming attacking prospects.

However, in terms of his impact on the pitch, considering the high-pressing system Marsch deploys at Elland Road, it is unlikely that the 34-year-old would be a regular fixture in the 48-year-old’s starting XI – although the player who earned £135k-per-week at United could perhaps be used in the same way Hernandez was towards the end of his Leeds career.

Indeed, the Spaniard started just two of the Whites’ last eight Championship fixtures in their promotion-winning campaign back in 2019/20, however, he still managed to play a starring role in the club’s return to the Premier League – bagging a crucial three goals and providing three assists over those eight appearances.

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As such, should Mata be willing to play a bit part role under Marsch this season, the 34-year-old could well prove to be an extremely astute addition for the Whites to bring into the club this summer as he could well prove to be Leeds’ Premier League standard version of the 37-year-old playmaker, someone who was also well accustomed to creating and scoring goals on a regular basis himself.

Article title: Leeds admiring Juan Mata from afar

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