Barcelona plotting second transfer raid on Man Utd but January deal could be blocked

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Manchester United could be subject to another attempted raid by Barcelona, as the Catalan side continue to circle around Old Trafford for stars, although they’ve been after one player for some time.

Barcelona have been monitoring Manchester United’s squad very closely after reports linking both Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani to the Nou Camp have recently surfaced.

However, the Catalan side are looking to plot another raid of the Red Devils, although this time a deal could very much be on the cards.

Cavani is free to leave United at the end of the season and Barcelona have been rumoured as his next destination as the star is expected to leave Old Trafford next summer.

And the Uruguayan may be joined in Barcelona by a fellow teammate, who could also link up with Xavi’s side, as a January move looks to be in doubt.

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According to the Daily Star, Barcelona will once again attempt to sign Juan Mata who is also out of contract at United at the end of the season.

It would be the third time that Mata has been wanted by Barcelona, after the Catalan side attempted to buy the Spaniard back in 2014 before he joined United, and they were again unsuccessful last year as the midfielder triggered an extra year to extend his stay at Old Trafford.

Mata’s decision hasn’t been an awfully successful one, as the 33-year-old has only made three appearances all season for United, and with new boss Ralf Rangnick famously prioritising youth, the Spaniard appears surplus to requirements.

The United star could favour a move back to his native Spain as he seeks one final major move in his career, although it appears that the midfielder will have to see out the season at Old Trafford and wait until next summer to seal a transfer.

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That’s because Barcelona are still in a major financial crisis, and due to being so short on cash, they must wait until Mata is available to comply with La Liga rules.

Currently, the La Liga financial fair play rules state that Barcelona are unable to pay any fee for the ex-Valencia and Chelsea star, meaning that a January move is all but ruled out.

That is unless United agree to cancel the remainder of Mata’s £130,000-a-week deal so that he becomes available for nothing, which is also an avenue that the Red Devils may explore.

However, it remains more likely that Barcelona will wait until June when the former Spain international will be out of contract and can pick him up on a free transfer.

Mata, a former Real Madrid academy starlet, made a name for himself at Valencia after a prolific year in Madrid’s B team, Castilla.

The Spaniard spent four seasons with Valencia, winning the Copa Del Rey at the end of his first year, before going on to make a total of 129 La Liga appearances for Los Murcielagos.

After attracting heavy interest from the Premier League, Chelsea won the race to sign him back in 2011 for £23.5m, after it was revealed that compatriot Fernando Torres convinced him to join him at Stamford Bridge.

A move to United followed three years later but, despite playing for two of the ‘big six’ for an entire decade, Mata has never won a league title, the only English trophy that he has failed to win.

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