When Jose Mourinho was manager of Chelsea, he dispensed with the services of creative midfielder Juan Mata. He wasn’t in the Mourinho mould and the notion that he was a “luxury player” brought an angry response from the West London club’s Player of the Year.
Playmaker Mata thought he had found a safe berth at Manchester Utd but now Mourinho is set to re-model the Red Devils, the Spaniard is wondering if lightning will strike twice.
The answer appears to be “yes” with the Portuguese supremo happy to let the 28-year-old go again.
Mata was one of the bright sparks of Louis van Gaal's dull reign. Little wonder then that West Ham Utd , currently keeping phone lines hot with interest in European talent, is reportedly interested in the enterprising attacking midfielder.
He cost Manchester Utd £37million and is likely to be in demand from La Liga but he would fulfill the club’s ambitions for a marquee player to unveil at the Olympic Stadium.
However, it is likely they are saving their pennies for an illusive striker with a possible deal for Carlos Bacca reportedly coming to nothing as did the tilt for Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette.
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Staying in France, the east London club is pondering a bid for Nice’s Alassane Plea, 23, who has a release clause of an eye-watering £40million and has enduring a torrid, injury-hit season in France.
Co-chairman David Gold has said that the war chest is £30million to land a striker so he is likely to be beyond their means.
Meanwhile, the club is keeping tabs on Georges-Kevin N’Koudou, a French internation U21 player for Marseilles. Liverpool and Manchester Utd are alson interested in the winger rated at £10million by West Ham but more than that by his club.
N’Koudou moved to the Stade Vélodrome last summer from Nantes for £1million and scored 11 goals in all competitions in his debut season for Marseille.