All change as Man United star goes from saviour to scapegoat

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David Moyes knew in January that times at Manchester United were becoming desperate, so he went out and gave Chelsea £37m for their two-time player of the year, Juan Mata, to try and turn things around.

Although the deal paid greater dividends than Moyes’ signing of former Everton disciple, Marouane Fellaini, Mata’s arrival didn’t stop the Scot from losing his job with just four games of the season remaining.

Now, Louis van Gaal is in charge at Old Trafford and is 5/1 to land the Premier League trophy in his debut season in charge of the side.

Having played such a heavy part in much of Chelsea’s success during his time in London, Mata would have been expecting to be central to the Dutchman’s plans at the Theatre of Dreams, although that now looks not to be the case.

The Spaniard’s is a shock name adorning many a rumour column this weekend as it’s thought Barcelona, another team in transition, are readying a £40m bid for the former Valencia player.

So rather than Fellaini, who unimpressed United fans with vigour last season, it seems that Mata will be the first of Moyes’ men to get the chop under Van Gaal.

Luis Enrique is the new manager of Barcelona, after Tata Martino resigned following the conclusion of the La Liga season, and is expected to overhaul a playing squad that finished the season without a trophy.

With the Barca bid actually making Man United money on a player that only recently arrived at the club, it’s thought Van Gaal is happy to listen to the offer and use the cash received to strengthen United’s depth.

Wayne Rooney is likely to be deployed in the number 10 role Mata likes to operate in and selling him could allow the decorated boss greater funds to recruit in the wide areas.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.