An interesting story has emerged from the Turkish media claiming Manchester United star Juan Mata is close to securing a transfer to Fenerbahce.
Journalist Ahmet Ercanlar is a specialist in Fenerbahce transfers and claims that the club’s president Ali Koc is ‘confident of signing’ Mata after opening talks this week.
On a Youtube video for Sansürsüz Futbol, translated by Sport Witness, Ercanlar states that the deal is being brokered by the agent of current player Luis Gustavo and added that both sides are close to an agreement.
‘Fener are looking to replace Max Kruse, who terminated his contract with the Turkish club last month, and Ercanlar insists Mata is their first-choice target,’ Sport Witness claims.
‘It’s reported further talks between the two sides will commence in the next few weeks and that the Yellow Canaries are confident [of] signing him.’
Ercanlar reports that the Spaniard is keen to join the Superlig side and although Sport Witness dismiss this as ‘questionable to say the least’, it is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility.
Turkey has often emerged as a destination for established stars entering the last few years of their career as it offers an excellent lifestyle combined with a much more challenging standard of football than the likes of the Chinese Superleague and MLS.
One example is Robin Van Persie, who joined Fenerbahce from United in 2015 for €6.5 million (£5.8m) a month shy of his 32nd birthday.
Shinji Kagawa, Robinho, Gael Clichy, Emmanuel Adebayor, Robert Soldado, Didier Drogba and Guti are other names that have graced the Superlig in recent years.
At 32, Mata could be looking for more football before he retires. He has only started eight Premier League games in a season that has been injury-ravaged for Manchester United and would expect to play even less next term when another year older and after the Red Devils presumably acquire reinforcements – possibly Jadon Sancho – in the Spaniard’s right wing position.
For United’s part, with a year left on Mata’s contract, selling him now would be an opportunity to cash in on him rather than him leaving on a free transfer in 2021.