Juan Mata
Juan MataReuters

Manchester United are reportedly in talks with Chelsea to sign Juan Mata this January despite recent denials of a bid for the Spanish maestro.

Speculation regarding the 25-year-old star has been rife throughout a disappointing first half of the season at Chelsea following Jose Mourinho´s arrival and the midfielder is ready to move in order to guarantee more playing time and strengthen his claim for a starting role for Spain for the summer's World Cup.

Recent reports claim that Manchester United wanted to take advantage of his situation and have launched a £37m bid to secure his services. The Red Devils denied the offer but Spanish football expert Guillem Balague reports in Daily AS that negotiations between both clubs are ongoing and Mourinho is open to negotiating a deal.

"Manchester United are convinced that Mata is one of the solutions to their problems and they believe that Chelsea are going to accept to sell him.

It looks that Juan Mata will soon become a Manchester United player despite United yesterday denied that they had made an offer for the Spanish footballer," Balague reports in AS.

"Actually, the two clubs have been negotiating during the last days and José Mourinho does not see the deal as a way to strengthen a rival if not the opposite. He believes that Mata may help them to win the Premier League as Chelsea have already played twice against Manchester United, while they (the Red Devils) have already had to face Manchester City and Arsenal and with Mata they can get some points.

"Chelsea are currently asking for £40m or an exchange with Wayne Rooney. Manchester are convinced to secure a cut-price deal and as they know that there are not any other player with Mata's high profile in the market they will pay whatever necessary to sign him," AS added.

Mata has started just 11 Premier League games this season and is yet to score a goal despite being a key player during the last two campaigns, winning the Player of the Season award two years in a row and leading the Blues to successive Champions League and Europa League triumphs.

The Spaniard has been left on the bench in crucial games against Manchester United (twice) City, Arsenal and Liverpool during this season and has been an unused substitute in the club's last three games.