Real Sociedad target Manchester United midfielder in January free transfer

According to reports, Real Sociedad are eager to sign Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata in January.

The Sun claims the Spanish club are hoping to persuade United to release Mata as a free agent next month.

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

Mata has not yet appeared in the Premier League this season (Photo: Alamy)
Mata has not yet appeared in the Premier League this season (Photo: Alamy)

Mata has played 276 games for United and scored 51 goals since joining a £ 37million move in 2014. from Chelsea.

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

Sociedad are eager to sign the Spanish national team player as they continue their efforts for Champions League football.

The San Sebastian club are currently in sixth place in La Liga and remain just one point from the top four, despite a series of five league games without a win.

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

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

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

The cashy Catalan club may be looking for free agents in January, after spending £ 55m on picking up Ferran Torres from Manchester City.

The Spaniard has only six months left on his contract at Old Trafford (Photo: Alamy)
The Spaniard has only six months left on his contract at Old Trafford (Photo: Alamy)

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

Earlier this month, Mata was recognized by UEFA for his role with Common Goal, the charity 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 charity.

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

“I was so lucky to go and see the amazing work that the organizations we work with are doing,” Mata told UEFA.

Barcelona is reportedly also interested in Mata (Photo: Alamy)
Barcelona is reportedly also interested in Mata (Photo: Alamy)

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

“I was proud of the work our organizations are doing there, and proud of the stories of people who have overcome difficult problems. That’s what we want to do through Common Goal, give people the opportunity to determine their future.

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

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