Juan Mata may leave Manchester United for free this summer - sources
MANCHESTER -- Manchester United risk losing Juan Mata for free this summer by delaying a decision to trigger a contract extension for the Spaniard, sources have told ESPN FC.
The four-and-a-half-year deal the midfielder signed when he joined from Chelsea in January 2014 is set to expire at the end of the season.
United hold an option to extend the contract by another season, but, as of yet, the 29-year-old has not been informed.
The delay means Mata has been free to negotiate terms with clubs outside England since Jan. 1. However, despite interest from Inter Milan and Valencia, sources have told ESPN FC he wants to stay at Old Trafford.
United are still expected to exercise their option before the end of the season with sources telling ESPN FC it would make little sense to allow a player to walk away for free.
One-year contract extensions for Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera, which will keep the pair at the club until at least 2019, have already been triggered.
United also hold options on Daley Blind and Ashley Young.
Mata has scored three goals in 24 games this season and has started nine of the last 11 games in all competitions.
Meanwhile, Marouane Fellaini is moving closer to an Old Trafford exit after continuing to stall on a new contract.
The Belgian rejected an offer in September, and although terms are still on the table, Fellaini has so far declined to accept.
The 30-year-old's contract will expire at the end of the season and there is interest from clubs in Turkey and Italy.
Sources have told ESPN FC that United will not look to cash in on Fellaini during the January transfer window and that he will either leave in the summer on a free transfer or sign a new contract.
Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.