Transfer news: Juan Mata does not fit in with the Manchester United 'philosophy', warns Gary Neville
Former United defender feels his experience of the Premier League and creativity would lift the side and would fulfil the big-name player David Moyes needs to sign
Tuesday 21 January 2014
Gary Neville does not believe Juan Mata fits in with the “typical philosophy” of Manchester United - but feels the Chelsea star would bring plenty of positives if he did make the move to Old Trafford.
In the wake of stories suggesting an approach for the Spain international was imminent, United have denied making a bid.
However, with almost two weeks left before the transfer window closes there is still time for United to possibly try and make the kind of addition many fans have been crying out for.
During his commentary of the Red Devils' 3-1 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday, Neville outlined a view that his old club needed at least three players to lift flagging morale, but in the difficult January window, getting them would be virtually impossible.
Mata's desire to cement a place in Spain's World Cup squad, having failed to secure a regular starting berth under Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, may make the situation far easier in his case, even if Chelsea, rebuffed twice in their attempts to sign Wayne Rooney last summer, may wonder why they should do business with the Old Trafford club.
It has been suggested Neville does not believe it is a good idea either.
However, in a series of Tweets this morning, England's assistant coach has clarified his view.
"Does he fit in with what I would call the typical philosophy of Manchester United? I would say no," said Neville.
"Positives of signing a player like him are obvious-lift everyone (spark) creativity, knows PL, 4th place chances go up - fantastic player."
On Sky's Monday Night Football show, Neville outlined why he felt Mata's arrival would not immediately fit with the manner in which United generally approach their transfer business.
He said: "The first question, I think, is where are you going to play? Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are up top if they are fit so where are you going to play him? Are you going to play him off the left or off the right?
"Maybe they have to change the philosophy and maybe that's what David Moyes is thinking. Maybe he wants to play narrow wide players and maybe a three in midfield.
"They would have to change to accommodate Juan Mata in the way they normally play. They normally play with wide players.
"He's obviously a fantastic football player, there's no doubt about that, but one thing it does do, I suppose, is that David Moyes, Manchester United and Ed Woodward need to sign a big player.
"They need to make a noise and if they get him in it will attract potentially other players - and they need three or four players.
"What it could be is the start of something to lead to other things, but typically I wouldn't say he fits."
With a blank weekend following Wednesday's Capital One Cup semi-final second-leg with Sunderland, Moyes is expected to embark on a scouting mission in an effort to bolster a squad languishing in seventh spot, and in danger of failing to qualify for next season's Champions League.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West