Manchester United's club record purchase Juan Mata is already bearing fruit in Premier League competition. The £37m acquisition from Chelsea played a vital role in Robin van Persie's opening goal in his new side's 2-0 victory over Cardiff City, as well as providing three clear goal-scoring chances and attempting 52 passes, the most out of anyone on the pitch, with 86% of them finding a team-mate.
The club may also be boosted by reports suggesting Wayne Rooney is ready to commit to the Old Trafford outfit beyond the terms on his current deal that expires in the summer of 2015, however, any momentum David Moyes wished to accumulate in the transfer market and in contractual negotiations may be stunted by Manchester City, who have allegedly struck the first blow in the pursuit of highly-rated FC Porto centre back Eliaquim Mangala.
According to Goncalo Lopes, a Portuguese journalist from Diario de Noticias and a source who had regular updates on the progress of Nemanja Matic's return to Chelsea via Benfica, Porto have received a €40m (£33m) bid for the defender.
FC Porto have a 40m€ offer from mcfc to sell Mangala.— Gonçalo Lopes (@_GoncaloLopes) January 28, 2014
Mangala, a once-capped France international, has made 19 appearances in both Primeira Liga and Champions League competition, with an 87% pass completion rate, 45 averages passes per match, 25 clearances and seven challenges in total in the latter.
With the future of United's defensive situation requiring an overhaul due to the imminent expiration of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand's contracts, as well as Manchester City's unclear preferential partner to Vincent Kompany, both clubs have been speculatively linked to a number of potential recruits in the mid-season market, with some targets appearing on shortlists at both Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium.
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