Man United facing battle to keep much-improved star

Juventus are plotting a shock cut-price £18.3m summer move for Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata, according to reports from The Metro.

The Spaniard was the Red Devils’ record signing – at £37.1m – before Angel Di Maria’s £59.7m arrival last year blew the fee paid in January out of the water.

And it’s not just the record the Argentine has dislodged, with the former Real Madrid man’s presence a factor in Mata’s lack of playing time this season – he’s made 21 starts this season and has often been shifted to a wide role.

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And even though he’s been back to his best recently, Juventus are hopeful that a cut-price offer could land them the pass-master in a few months’ time.

The 26-year-old is seen as the ideal creative influencer by the Old Lady to help them push on next term, which is likely to be a campaign in which they’re pushing for their fifth Serie A title on the spin.