Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay now
Come on in and join the club! Get our daily Manchester United email newsletter
Sign me up!When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeInvalid Email
Juan Mata's time at Man Utd appears to be drawing to a natural close.
The 32-year-old has been increasingly pushed to the fringes at Old Trafford and has less than six months remaining on his contract.
United have the option of extending Mata's deal by a further year but it seems unlikely they will do so before it expires in the summer.
Mata has only started six matches this season and has now essentially been usurped as United's back-up right winger.
Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: "The decision is very difficult every time with Juan. You know he's got the quality. If he plays, he scores goals, he's contributed this season.
Juan Mata looks likely to leave Man Utd when his contract expires in June
(Image: Getty Images)
Transfer news LIVE: Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal plus latest deals and gossip
Rio Ferdinand responds to question over returning to Man Utd
"Then again, we've had other players who have taken his role as well – Mason [Greenwood] has done well in that position, Paul [Pogba] now, and Juan really contributes in and around the group.
"So it's one of those that I have discussions with all the time, it's difficult to leave him out but unfortunately that's where it is at the moment, so no decision has been made there yet."
While there is still plenty of time for United to exercise their option to keep Mata at the club, but the fact they have already done so with other players in a similar situation does not bode well for the midfielder.
Get the latest Man Utd news straight into your inbox!
Manchester United are looking to plot their path back to the top.
And you can keep track of their journey by signing up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!
From the latest news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox.
Signing up is simple. Put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.
United extended Timothy Fosu-Mensah's contract at the end of last season to ensure he did not leave on a free transfer, before selling him this month to Bayer Leverkusen.
They have also triggered the one-year extension in Jesse Lingard's contract but are still expected to offload him in the summer.
The obvious difference with those two players is Mata's advancing years, which diminishes his potential sell-on value.
Should Man Utd let Mata go this summer? Have your say below.
Solskjaer is pleased with Mata's contribution but has other options available
Mata is on a salary worth £160,000 per week, so it would not make little sense financially to retain him purely for the purposes of selling him on in the short-term.
The arrival of youngster Amad Diallo has further reduced Mata's chances of earning a new contract.
According to Spanish publication La Razon, Mata's former club Valencia are keen on taking him back to the Mestalla.
Discussing United's recruitment policy, Solskjaer added: "We're not here for a quick fix, we have players who have a long-term role to play."