Manchester United are set to use Juan Mata as a bait as the Red Devils prepare to offer the attacker as part of a swap deal that will allow them to sign Juventus star Paul Pogba. The Spain international's future at Old Trafford remains uncertain and he could be heading for an exit.
Mata joined United from Chelsea on £37.1m ($48m) deal in January 2014 and Mourinho sanctioned his sale from Stamford Bridge, when the Portuguese tactician was in charge of the Blues. The west London club sacked Mourinho last December and he returned to management, having signed for the 20-time English champions in May.
The former Inter Milan and Real Madrid manager felt that the 28-year-old's physical and dynamic presence on the pitch did not suit his style of play. According to The Mirror, Mourinho's opinion on Mata remains unchanged and is looking to offload him in the summer transfer window.
United have offered Mata to Juventus as they hope to re-sign their former player. The 23-year-old left Old Trafford and joined the Turin club as a free agent in 2012. He has won four Serie A titles with the Italian outfit and also developed into one of the best midfielders in Europe.
Pogba has long been a target for the United manager as he looks to bolster his squad for the 2016/17 season. He has already helped the Red Devils in completing deals for defender Eric Bailly, Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
At his first press conference as United manager, Mourinho revealed that he is targeting four specialist signings this summer. After managing to complete three out of his four signings, he has now turned his attention towards Pogba.
The Independent claims the France international is the former Chelsea boss' priority summer target at Old Trafford. Pogba is valued at £100m ($129.5m) and is preparing for France's Euro 2016 final against Portugal on 10 July.
Mata is a target for the Italian champions. However, Juventus are not willing to accept a swap deal with United and are looking for a straight cash deal, if they decide to let their prized asset leave this summer.
United are willing to pay the world-record fee in bringing Pogba back to United. With Juventus not willing to enter into a swap deal, it should be seen as to what will happen to Mata's future at Old Trafford, who has been a popular figure in the Old Trafford dressing room and also amongst the fans.