Manchester United snub Juan Mata interest. Is he guaranteed starts?

Reports in Italy suggest that Manchester United have batted away interest from Juventus in Juan Mata, but does he start when everyone is fit?

Manchester United spent £37.1 million on Juan Mata 12 months ago, making him their record buy at that time.

Luring him away from Chelsea was considered to be quite a coup, given that he was a two-time Player of the Year at Stamford Bridge.

He had, however, slipped out of favour under Jose Mourinho and was eager to find regular first-team football elsewhere.

The Red Devils were only too happy to offer him those opportunities as they struggled to make progress under the guidance of David Moyes.

Is Mata about to find himself in a similar situation, though?

United are said to have rebuffed advances from Serie A champions Juventus for the Spain international as they consider him to be an important part of their plans.

It is easy to see why, as he has impressed under Louis van Gaal this season.

Does Mata fit into United’s starting XI, though, when everyone is fit?

  GoalsGoal AssistAccurate PassTouchesAppearancesMins Played
Juan Mata 5 3 672 914 16 1,232
Ángel Di María 3 6 354 738 12 867
Marouane Fellaini 2 0 471 719 11 799

With Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao to try and squeeze in up front, the former has been dropped back into midfield.

As skipper, Rooney will be among the first names on the team sheet, and he has £59 million man Angel di Maria to come back in alongside him.

Mata may then be forced out and it could be argued that United should look to take advantage of the interest in his services and reinvest the funds elsewhere – in areas where they are not quite as well-stocked, such as centre-half and full-back.

It would be a tough call to make, though, as Mata is a proven match-winner and a useful squad member to have around, with it more likely that Adnan Januzaj will be among the playmaking talent sacrificed – with Ligue 1 giants Paris St Germain reported to be keen on taking him on loan.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch