The Spanish playmaker has been frozen out at Chelsea, playing only 13 league games, but the former full-back is not convinced he is the right man to arrive at Old TraffordGary Neville believes Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata would not fit the "typical Manchester United philosophy".
Mata’s most recent of his 13 Premier League appearances this campaign, against Southampton on New Year's Day, ended with the 25-year-old reacting angrily to being substituted.
Former United right-back Neville, though, told Sky Sports he cannot see where Mata would fit in unless David Moyes is planning an overhaul of the squad. "The first question, I think, is where are you going to play him? 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?
"That's a lot of money, 37 million quid, but they need a signing.
"Does he fit with what I would call the typical philosophy of Manchester United? I would say no.
"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. Sometimes they tuck in, but generally they have wide players and the thing for me is where is he going to play?"
Moyes and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward were heavily criticised for their failure to suitably reinforce the squad in the summer, with targets such as Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas, Leighton Baines and Ander Herrera all resisting their advances, and Neville believes the club are in need of a big-name arrival.
"They need to sign a big player," he added. "They need to make a noise and if they get him in it will attract 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 [Mata] fits." ------------------ goal.com