Juan Mata
Juan Mata has scored five Premier League goal this season Reuters

Barcelona have put Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata at the top of their shopping list for January 2016, according to reports in Spain.

The Catalans have recently appointed former AC Milan sporting director Ariedo Braida to a similar role at the Camp Nou, following the sacking of Andoni Zubizarreta.

Even though the Spanish giants are unable to register any players for the next 12 months, Mundo Deportivo claims the club are already planning for the future and have identified Juventus coveted star Paul Pogba and Mata as potential targets.

The Catalan newspaper points out that Barcelona officials have been monitoring the Spanish playmaker since his early days in the Real Madrid academy due to his compatibility with their tiki-taka philosophy.

The Catalans tried to lure him from Valencia in the summer of 2010 before he instead on moving to Chelsea, and made a fresh approach to the player's father in 2013 when he was still at Stamford Bridge.

Mundo Deportivo reports Barcelona are now ready to renew their efforts for Mata as the Spaniard is struggling to convince manager Louis van Gaal he deserves a regular place in his line-up.

The Spanish international moved to Old Trafford in January 2013 transfer window after manager David Moyes agreed to pay Chelsea a then-club record £37.1m to secure his services.

But having been Chelsea's player of the season in his first two campaigns in England, Mata is failing to replicate the same form at Old Trafford and has been an unused substitute for van Gaal in the last two Premier League games.

Mundo Deportivo claims Barcelona are ready to take advantage of the situation to convince the player to return to his homeland.

Nevertheless the reports claim that the deal is not going to be easy as, even though he is not a regular for van Gaal, United will demand a huge fee for his services.