Manchester United are set to offer Juan Mata to Inter Milan as part of a deal which would bring Joao Mario to Old Trafford, after receiving approval from manager Jose Mourinho.
29-year-old Mata has once again fallen down the pecking order with Mourinho at the helm, as, despite having a strong start to the season, the Spaniard has featured just three times for United since the start of November.
According to Corriere Dello Sport, United are using Mata as a bargaining tool to make a move for the star midfielder, however, the Serie A side is understood not to be interested in signing the 29-year-old, as they have singled out Henrikh Mkhitaryan as part of a deal instead.
Inter are understood to feel that 24-year-old Mario’s recent performances have not justified the €40m they paid to Sporting in 2016, and are said to be looking to avoid cutting their losses, and are therefore open to a swap deal, with a loan deal with the option for a permanent move also being mooted.
However, United are set to face some competition in the hunt for Mario’s signature as Paris Saint-Germain are said to be interested in luring him to Parc des Princes, as they are potentially willing to offer Javier Pastore as part of the deal to trump the Red Devils’ offer.
The Portugal international has made 11 Serie A appearances to date this season, notching three assists in a campaign which sees Inter top of the table after 15 league matches.