Manchester United's Juan Mata emerging as a target for Atletico Madrid

Spain midfielder is out of favour at Old Trafford and Diego Simeone could offer a way out

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The Independent Football

Juan Mata has often found himself out of favour at Manchester United under Louis van Gaal this season - and it looks as if the reigning La Liga winners might take advantage.

Diego Simeone is thought to be interested in taking the Spanish international to Atletico Madrid in the summer transfer window. Mata only joined United a year ago from Chelsea in a £37.1 million deal, but struggled to fit into David Moyes' struggling side and has found himself further out of favour this season.

FA Cup fifth round live

His last appearance came in the FA Cup third-round replay victory over Cambridge United nearly a fortnight ago, and a move to the Spanish capital might reignite his international hopes with Euro 2016 fast approaching on the near horizon.

 

Van Gaal appeared to signify his displeasure with Mata and the other members of United's midfield this week when he admitted he is being forced to play Wayne Rooney in midfield.

“Rooney is maybe our best striker. But I am playing him in midfield because I have to look at which players make the biggest contribution and in what position," Van Gaal said.

 

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