One of the more bizarre transfer rumours of this window came out this week when 34-year-old ex-Man Utd midfielder Juan Mata was linked with a move to Leeds United.
The former Spanish international has spent the last eight seasons at Old Trafford and is considered a legend by some on the red side of Manchester, so his links to Elland Road have come as, well, a surprise!
Currently a free agent, the rumours suggest Victor Orta is working on a move for Mata in a bid to add some experience and composure to a young squad, much in the same way Pablo Hernandez did in the Whites’ first season back in the Premier League.
Leeds fans are unsurprisingly split on the move, with many seeing it as a bit pointless considering his game-time would be limited, while others like the idea of him adding more quality and squad depth to Jesse Marsch’s squad.
But while LUFC are divided, there is certainly no denying what the thought’s of MUFC fans are, with the Red Devils fanbase unwilling to give Mata the same free pass Dan James had when he joined Leeds last summer.
Due to his status at Old Trafford, with many Man Utd fans holding Mata in high regard as a long-time servant to the club, the ‘adopted Manc’ would face the wrath of his former team’s fan if he was to make the love across the Pennines.
While the rivalry between Leeds and Man Utd perhaps isn’t what it once was, there is still a clear hatred for each other from the Roses rivals as showcased on Twitter when the rumours started circulating about Mata.
One fan went as far as labelling Mata a ‘snake’, with another questioning why they couldn’t sign Kalvin Phillips due to the rivalry, but Leeds would be allowed to potentially acquire Mata.
I don’t think Mata would be a snake, can’t see it happening
— RP 🐐 (@RonaIdoProp) July 13, 2022
How is it that we couldn't sign Phillips coz of rivalry & they can? 🤦♂️
— pimp named slick back (@kip_nim) July 13, 2022
Elsewhere, the hatred towards Leeds wasn’t hidden with a flurry of replies highlighting the rivalry between the two clubs and how it would damage his reputation forever and undo all his work at Old Trafford.
Dirty Leeds 👀
— George Laycock (@glaycock11) July 13, 2022
juan, cant do this mate
— Krishhutd (@krishhutd) July 13, 2022
This is proof all footballers are evil. Even Juan has sold his soul 😞 https://t.co/3pe0NtlT19
— Unitedator (@unitedator) July 13, 2022
Would he play for Leeds considering the grief he'd get coming back to Old Trafford?
— IMeMine (@JohnRob14594924) July 13, 2022
Refuse to believe Mata will go to Leeds, then again he could be like a Pablo Hernandez for them
— Olly (@Utd_Olly15) July 13, 2022
No no no no, Juan.
— Cainy (@RobCain101) July 13, 2022
You understand this club, don't do this to us! https://t.co/LhsYBWYmiF
— Alex (@AA_utd) July 13, 2022
— RP 🐐 (@RonaIdoProp) July 13, 2022
— Dan_s (@UnitedDan3) July 13, 2022
I know he wants to stay in England but this ain't it
— Jake Driver (@JAKWD95) July 13, 2022
— King Cantona 🔰 (@KingCantona21) July 13, 2022
Mata isn't that dirty..
— Paul @StrettyNews #GlazersOut (@RowlesPaul) July 13, 2022
He wouldn't join them surely 🤞🙏 https://t.co/jg2eJW0si8
— Tamara Byas 🇮🇪 (@TamaraByas) July 13, 2022
Someone educate Mata who Leeds are
— CRHeaven (@CR7STIANOOOO) July 13, 2022
Come on juan dont do this!
— 🐐 (@manutd30108) July 13, 2022
He better not 😭 https://t.co/dBcwbyoC7R
— 🇮🇪 Craig 🏳️🌈 (@NineNineCraig) July 13, 2022
— Grant Robbins™️💦 (@realmixing_desk) July 13, 2022
— 𝕸𝖆𝖙𝖆𝕸𝖆𝖊𝖘𝖙𝖗𝖔 🇪🇸⚡ (@maestro_mata) July 13, 2022
Don’t be that snake Mata….. https://t.co/zLmYwXajXB
— ❤︎ 𝕊 𝕚 𝕟 𝕖 𝕒 𝕕 ❤︎ (@KWMadhead94) July 13, 2022
Little rat. https://t.co/c22oUsNU8H
— R9 (@Itzutdr9) July 13, 2022
— Darragh 🔰 🔰 (@YANITED9908) July 13, 2022
Man's been paid millions over a decade of hugs, blog posts and stealing minutes from youth while top reds jerk themselves silly over his Yanited DNA only for him to feck off to massive rivals 😂 pic.twitter.com/syv6ZW8o4R
— 7SS 🔰#RatcliffeIn (@Le_Trawler) July 13, 2022
Let’s leave this one, but we’ve enjoyed the meltdown!
Leeds are building a young exciting squad so Mata’s links to us are very bizarre.
Sure he would bring the experience, but we already have that in the squad and his arrival could limit the progress of some young players coming through, especially in the midfield – Archie Gray springs to mind!
The counter argument is that he could really help and nurture the likes of Gray with his experience, but we have players like Adam Forshaw and Rodrigo for that, so I’m hoping, like many, this is just paper talk.
If it is that, which seems the case, then whoever started the rumour needs to seriously take a bow, because the meltdown among the Man Utd fans has been a joy to behold – and some claim that they don’t see us as a rival anymore! Yeah right.
The comments have made me want this https://t.co/wcw0U2wZj5
— BC (@BC_LUFC) July 13, 2022