Manchester United could be close to signing Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata.
ESPN FC reports that sources from both Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge claim that David Moyes's struggling side is hopeful of securing the Spanish international by the weekend. Reports suggest that a transfer fee for Mata could reach upwards of 40 million pounds.
Mata, voted Chelsea's player of the year for the past two seasons, has found his playing time greatly limited this year under new manager Jose Mourinho and is believed to welcome the opportunity for first team football ahead of this summer's World Cup in Brazil.
Mata has only made 13 league appearances for Chelsea this season, registering two assists. Last season, the 25-year-old tallied 12 goals and 17 assists in 35 appearances. He has played in two of Chelsea's Champions League group stage match-ups this season, meaning that he is cup-tied and, therefore, would be unavilable for selection for United's Champions League knockout encounter with Olympiacos next month if he were to move.
Chelsea actively pursued United striker Wayne Rooney this past summer, but their pursuit was rebuffed and Mourinho admitted defeat in his chase. Rooney is not believed to be involved at all in these current Mata negotiations, even though Mata's name came up as a makeweight in a potential deal in August.