Juan Mata Turned Down Big-Money Offer to Stay at Manchester United

    Juan Mata is on the periphery of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-team plans | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

    Juan Mata rejected a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia to remain at Manchester United this season.

    The Spaniard plays only a rotational role in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-team at Old Trafford, often appearing in the cup competitions, but nonetheless remains a highly-respected member of the first-team squad.

    Mason Greenwood, Juan Mata
    Mata is brilliant for the youngsters in the United squad | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    The 32-year-old is viewed as an indispensable member of the dressing room, crucial in aiding the development of youngsters in Solskjaer’s youthful side.

    However, Spanish news outlet AS reports he could’ve easily departed Manchester in the summer when an unnamed Saudi Arabian outfit came knocking at the door and offered him £18m annually to make the switch to the Middle East.

    Mata, though, rejected their huge financial offer in favour of remaining at Old Trafford. The Red Devils veteran is said to be ‘very comfortable’ in Manchester and is ‘confident that he will be able to join the project this season’.

    He feels he still has a lot to offer and believes United boast a side capable of winning trophies this term despite their poor start to the season and recent 6-1 humbling at the hands of Tottenham.

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    Bruno Fernandes
    The Red Devils were humbled by a rampant Tottenham | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    The Spaniard is into the last year of his contract at United, although he does have the option of a one-year renewal at the end of the 2020/21 campaign.

    His decision to stay at the club would’ve certainly been a welcome boost for Solskjaer. Not only is Mata an invaluable member of the United dressing room, but he remains a classy performer when granted opportunities by the Norwegian string-puller.

    The former Valencia and Chelsea playmaker has two goals and an assist in just two League Cup games this term. Last time out, Mata notched seven goal contributions in 11 games amid United’s progression to the Europa League semi-finals.

    The arrivals of instant hero Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek in January and September respectively have thrust the Spaniard down Solskjaer’s pecking order, however, and chances are likely to be slim for the 32-year-old in 20/21.

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