Cape Town – Juan Mata is reportedly willing to accept a pay cut to join Barcelona despite being a free agent this summer.
The Spanish midfielder will be able to get a closer look at his potential new destination when Manchester United take on the Catalan giants at the Nou Camp tonight in their Champions League quarter-final second leg clash.
Mata and his team-mates have the difficult task of turning around last week’s first-leg 1-0 loss at Old Trafford, where they failed to even register a single shot on target for the first time in the competition since Opta stats were introduced.
Mata has been talking to Barcelona since the start of this month and the 30-year-old schemer is obviously attracted by the idea of seeing out the remainder of his peak years playing alongside Lionel Messi.
And United sources have hinted an agreement doesn’t appear to hinge over his financial terms, with Barca even reluctant to match his present United salary of £170 000-per-week.
An extension to remain with the Red Devils doesn’t appear to be forthcoming and it is understood Mata has already turned down offers from elsewhere, far in excess of the cash Barcelona are able to commit to for a player who is only seen as a useful homegrown squad addition.