Mata future up in the air
Juan Mata reportedly fears he might be forced to leave in January due to ongoing uncertainty over Jose Mourinho's position.
Whilst reports are rife the Manchester United boss is currently at odds with his board concerning matters both on and off the pitch, Mata has been left in limbo over his own future.
The Manchester United midfielder is in the final year of his contract and talks over an extension have continued to take a back seat as far as his agent father, Juan Snr, is concerned.
Mata is free to talk to other clubs in January but the Spaniard has continually stressed to the Red Devils that he remains happy and would like to stay at Old Trafford.
The 30-year-old even owns a tapas restaurant in Manchester city-centre and eyebrows have been raised as to how long United want to leave it before revealing their own financial hand.
Mata continues to be a peripheral first-team figure under Mourinho and United insiders state that might be one of the reasons for the delay, with the Portuguese tactician fighting to hold on to his own job.
Another manager would certainly want to assess the merits of the United squad, should a change be made before the new year, although the word coming back is that Mata is reaching a point where the club cannot take his ongoing loyalty for granted, with no shortage of admirers back in his homeland.
Neil Foster is an experienced journalist who specialises in cricket and rugby union. Neil also has a solid knowledge of tennis, golf and football.