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Could Juan Mata be leaving Manchester United already?

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The Daily Express is reporting that Barcelona are readying a big bid for Juan Mata.

Ian Walton

Moments of genuine excitement were, it's safe to say, few and far between for Manchester United this season. Patrice Evra lashing in the greatest goal of his career against Bayern Munich was probably the peak, though the January capture of Juan Mata -- a little shining beacon of hope in a sea of misery and despair -- was up there with the best, too.

However, the Daily Express are reporting that the Spaniard could be leaving United after only half-a-season, with Louis van Gaal unconvinced by the 26-year-old. The destination would be Barcelona, whose £40 million offer would allow United to make a slight profit on the £38m Chelsea were paid to bring him to Old Trafford a few months ago.

Now, TBB does like Mata; he's certainly one of the most interesting players at United, and a fan of Gabriel García Márquez. He's also not a bad footballer. But there are big questions about how he'd fit into van Gaal's system, as he seems to lack the industry and physicality required of the most advanced midfield position, and isn't the sort of quick, direct Arjen Robben-esque winger either.

If Barça really are offering that much, it might be best to sell up while we can. If he's going to spend a season on the bench, it's unlikely his value will be anywhere near what it is now.

However, we're sceptical about whether Barça really are as interested as the Express suggest. They're not exactly reliable when it comes to transfer rumours, and no other more reputable sources have picked this one up. Something to consider, all the same.