Mata set for free transfer move to Barcelona

Cape Town - Manchester United playermaker Juan Mata's proposed move to Barcelona could impact the uncertainty surrounding Ilkay Gundogan's future at Manchester City.

Officials at the Nou Camp have opened negotiations with Mata and an announcement is expected in the coming days, confirming that he will be joining them on a free transfer this summer.

It is understood the Bluagrana had been courting Gundogan for over 12 months and were previously beaten to his signature when manager Pep Guardiola made him his first signing for City back in 2016.

The former Borussia Dortmund man has been weighing up his options on the offer of a new Citizens deal, with his manager making it clear he wants him to remain an integral part of his squad.

It is believed Barca's move on Mata could now hasten Gundogan's own decision-making process and will let City know exactly where they stand.

Meanwhile, United could end up losing a second Spanish midfielder as Ander Herrera is expected to sign with Paris Saint-Germain instead of penning a new deal with the Old Trafford outfit.

United welcome the Catalans to the 'Theatre of Dreams' on Wednesday for a Champions League quarter-final first leg clash.

Kick-off is at 21:00 (SA time).

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