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Barcelona Transfer News: Shock Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata Rumours Emerge

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2015

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 26:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on April 26, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

A report by Spanish publication Sport suggests Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata "have been offered" to Barcelona.

Tomas Andreu of Sport provides details:

Agents working on behalf of Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata, who ensure they have an official mandate with Manchester United, have said that these two players are willing to end their Old Trafford careers and start a new adventure, away from the Premier League. Given their status, Barcelona would be an ideal destination for them.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 12:  Juan Mata of Manchester United celebrates as he beats Joe Hart of Manchester City to score their third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on April 12
Michael Regan/Getty Images

However, Andreu indicates neither player is wanted by the Blaugrana. Andreu suggests Barcelona aren't even willing to find out the price of both stars, "unlike the way they are treating (Manchester City's) David Silva and (United's) Ander Herrera."

Transfer News Live tweeted an image of Sport's corresponding headline:

Transfer News Live @DeadlineDayLive

Barcelona are keen on raiding Manchester for Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera & David Silva. (Source: SPORT) http://t.co/WocyZxu72n

Rooney and Mata have both experienced a range of ups and downs this season. United boss Louis van Gaal has misused both players before returning them to form in their more favoured roles.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 12:  Ander Herrera of Manchester United (C) takes on James Milner (L) and David Silva of Manchester City (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on April 12, 20
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

For instance, Rooney has only been deployed in his preferred striking role across 13 of 30 Premier League appearances this season, according to WhoScored.com.

Van Gaal favoured his muscle in midfield earlier in the campaign, a position which highlights his lack of distribution quality. Rooney notched a glut of goals when injuries insisted he returned up top but slunk back toward frustration when pushed back into midfield during the April 18 loss to Chelsea.

Mata has faced a fight to just get on the pitch. He has made 23 starts this season, per WhoScored, and was a pivotal figure through United's successful run of fixtures in March. The Spaniard netted a memorable double in the 2-1 win over Liverpool, provided an assist against Aston Villa and scored in the 4-2 Manchester derby win.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28: Manager Louis van Gaal of Manchester United smiles after the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on February 28, 2015 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Get
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

He continues to be used in a dynamic role from the right wing, which allows him to come inside and help United maintain possession. Mata is working well with Herrera, another player Van Gaal failed to properly utilise earlier in the season.

Last year, Spanish football expert Guillem Balague suggested Herrera is the "natural heir" to Barca's Andres Iniesta in his article for The Telegraph:

An intelligent, quick attacking midfielder with a great brain and a superb attitude he is not dissimilar to his idol, Andres Iniesta, who might or might never get Andres highs but he is nevertheless considered by many to be the logical successor in the Spanish side to Barcelona’s mercurial maestro.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 18:  David Silva of Manchester City FC runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City at the Camp Nou stadium on March 18, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Phot
David Ramos/Getty Images

Barca continue to utilise a possession-based style of football, although they have become more aggressive under Luis Enrique. Herrera and David Silva are perhaps the best fits, offering forward-thinking and incisive retention skills. Rooney's often cumbersome style wouldn't suit the Camp Nou side one iota.

Many United fans will be expecting a huge splurge of cash to be spent during the summer to help Van Gaal fight for the Premier League title. Barca cannot sign anyone until January 2016 due to their current transfer ban but are likely to be weighing up options well before the restrictions are lifted.

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