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Manchester United set decision date for Juan Mata’s future

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Manchester United will decide whether to keep Juan Mata for another year at the end of the season.

Mata, 33, is approaching the final month of his contract but United have the option of an additional year to retain him until the summer of 2022.

Mata made his first Premier League start since November in the 2-1 defeat to Leicester on May 11 and has only lined up nine times this season. The Spaniard’s mother, Marta Garcia, passed away in March, which prevented Mata from being available for more than two months.

Edinson Cavani agreed to extend his United contract by another year last week and Solskjaer is open to retaining Mata beyond the summer.

“We’re talking to Juan,” Solskjaer said. “We’ve had good dialogue, good discussions and that dialogue will continue. Let’s see what he wants to do at the end of the season.

“He’s such a top professional, a very good player. It’s hard for me not to play him more than I have done. There have been circumstances this season, personal issues that made him less available, but still he is a top player.

“That decision will be made after the season is finished.”

United bring the curtain down on their Premier League campaign on Sunday at Wolves, where they are bidding to maintain their unbeaten away league record for the entire season.

Solskjaer has presided over improvement in the league, lifting United from third in 2019-20 to second this season, but has no interest in rating his own development as a manager.

“You learn all the time,” he remarked. “We’ve had ups and downs, you learn from your wins, mistakes and defeats, and the older you get the more experienced you have got and you are probably a better leader for it.

“I’m taking it in my stride but I’m used to everyone else judging how well or badly I do. It’s not up to me to rate myself.

“We’re not where we aim to be, we’ve got ambitions to move one place further up but it’s been steady improvement. We’ve improved steadily, surely, third last season, second this season with more points. We have done really well away from home.

“We had a difficult start with a lack of pre-season and we lost three of the first six games, loads of them were home games that put pressure on the team. But they managed it well, players have been very, very good.”

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