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Barcelona Transfer News: Juan Mata Rumours Emerge, Latest Deadline Day Dealings

Manchester United's Juan Mata during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press
Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2016

Barcelona are reportedly due to make a "shock" deadline day bid for Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata, and the Red Devils are "set to listen" to it.

That's according to Sam Morgan of the Sun, with Spanish outlet Don Balon (h/t Morgan) reporting Mata "would welcome" the chance to return to his homeland.

The Spaniard was drafted in from Chelsea in January 2014 for £37.1 million, but after being moved around the team, he has sometimes struggled to replicate the excellent form he displayed at Stamford Bridge on a consistent basis.

Indeed, he has often been utilised out of the right flank—a position his lack of pace makes it difficult to shine in.

Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News criticised him in December:

The 27-year-old recently ended a lengthy goal drought in the 3-1 win over Derby County on Friday, per BBC Sport and ESPN Stats & Info:

Mata has six goals and seven assists to his name in all competitions this season and has created 45 goals in the Premier League since 2011.

His creativity and skill could see him work as a signing for Barca, and their indomitable front three would feed off his incisive passing, but the Blaugrana have little need for him with the likes of Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Arda Turan already among those providing excellent service for their front line.

Further, as sports journalist Jonas Giaever shared in the summer, Mata seems to enjoy playing for United and explained as much in an interview with Marca:

The prospect of Barcelona signing Mata is undoubtedly one of the more outlandish deadline day rumours doing the rounds, as confirmed by Spanish football expert Guillem Balague:

The Catalan giants are also "desperately trying" to loan out Douglas before the window closes, with Marca reporting the club are "working round the clock" to find someone who will take him.

Barcelona's Brazilian defender Douglas sits on the field during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King's Cup) Round of 32 first leg football match CF Villanovense vs FC Barcelona at the Romero Cuerda stadium in Villanueva de la Serena on October 28, 2015. AFP PHO

Douglas arrived at the Camp Nou in the summer of 2014 but has made just seven appearances for Barca, including two this season, with injuries taking their toll on the 25-year-old.

Indeed, the Brazilian has played so little that he has become a figure of fun, as Spanish football experts Sergi Dominguez and Rafael Hernandez demonstrate:

With so little game time under his belt and an unenviable injury record, Barca may struggle to find anyone willing to gamble on him, even on a loan deal.

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