A late twist in the Mata deal as Atletico make Manchester United a tempting offer

Denis Doyle

Manchester United's deal to secure the transfer of Juan Mata from Chelsea has undergone a late twist as Atletico Madrid have reportedly offered United first refusal on Felipe Luis and Diego Costa in return for withdrawing their interest.

Manchester United's move to sign Juan Mata from Chelsea appears to have hit a late snag as Atletico Madrid have apparently asked United to withdraw their interest in exchange for first option on Diego Costa and Felipe Luis, according to a report in the Telegraph.

United's interest in the pair is known, but the report states that Costa is not a priority target. What exactly 'first option' entails is also open to interpretation, so it's not clear precisely what the offer is.

Atletico are interested in Mata themselves, and want to loan him with a possibility to buy at the end of the season. This also has the bonus of being preferable for Chelsea, although it would be a surprise to see United withdraw from the race for a questionable option on two players who are probably not among their most coveted targets.

Nonetheless, this one is moving pretty quickly. It would be a surprise if this was still undecided one way or another by the weekend.

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