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Mata waiting on contract offer with deal to run out in summer

  /  autty

Juan Mata is in the dark over his future at Old Trafford despite bailing Manchester United out of trouble twice in the space of a month.

Mata’s free-kick sparked a sensational late comeback against Juventus on Wednesday night as Jose Mourinho’s side rallied to win 2-1 in Turin.

It was similar to the Spaniard’s expert set-piece last month that saw United fight back from two goals down to beat Newcastle 3-2 and avert a growing crisis at the club.

However, Sportsmail understands that Mata is still waiting for United to make him a contract offer with less than eight months left on his current £140,000-a-week deal.

United triggered the 12-month option on Mata’s contract at the start of this year, but a player who cost £37.1million in 2014 will be a free agent in the summer and able to speak to foreign clubs in January.

It’s believed Mata would prefer to extend his contract at Old Trafford, but will look to stay in the Premier League if United do not offer him new terms.

The 30-year-old has been linked with his old Valencia boss Unai Emery at Arsenal, and has a number of offers on the table from Spain.

Mata is one of the United players who has endured a difficult relationship with Mourinho in recent months, and was known to be unhappy at being sacrificed to make way for reserve goalkeeper Lee Grant when Sergio Romero was sent off in the Carabao Cup defeat to Derby.

But he started all four games after coming on to score against Newcastle on October 6, and made another huge impact with an equally clinical freekick against Juve at the Allianz Stadium.

Mata revealed that he pleaded with United captain Ashley Young to let him take the set-piece before curling a wonderful effort beyond goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

‘As soon as there was the free-kick in there, I had the confidence that I had to take it,’ he said.

‘I told Ash “please let me take it, because I can go over the wall”. It's very difficult for the goalkeeper because they don’t see a lot.

‘I think because of the venue and the importance of the game, it’s one of the best (I’ve scored).’

Alex Sandro’s own-goal from Young’s free kick three minutes later handed Juventus their first defeat of the season and only their third in 35 European games at the Allianz Stadium.

It has given United a great chance of progressing to the Champions League knockout stage from Group H and put Mourinho’s side in positive mood ahead of the Manchester derby at the Etihad on Sunday.

Ander Herrera admits City will be just as formidable as Juventus, but believes an erratic United have proved they can be a match for anyone.

Mourinho’s side turned the last Etihad derby on its head in April when they fought back from two goals down to win 3-2.

‘It's true that they are the favourites because they are in unbelievable form, but this is Manchester United and you never know what can happen,’ said Herrera.

‘I don’t like to compare situations. It’s a new game, a new situation. Hopefully we can win.’