Juan Mata was always going to be the man to relinquish his place in the Manchester United starting lineup the moment Wayne Rooney became available after a three-match ban.
Mata has not quite been able to cement his place in the Manchester United side or indeed make as much of an impression as he so often did during his time with Chelsea, even if the Spain international did score the vital winner against Crystal Palace in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Rumours have been rife over Mata's future at Manchester United for a while now, with several reports suggesting the left-footed playmaker could make his way out of Old Trafford barely a year after making his move from Chelsea for £37 million.
Serie A champions Juventus have shown an interest in signing Mata from Manchester United, and according to the Daily Express, Louis Van Gaal is ready to let the player leave for just £20 million during the January transfer window.
According to the report, Van Gaal has not been overly impressed by Mata's performances, despite that winner, which he scored after coming on as a substitute, and is ready to offload the player in January.
In Van Gaal's new system, there is only one real position that Mata can thrive in, and that is the position behind the striker. Wayne Rooney is the first choice in that particular position, while Angel Di Maria is also quite capable of playing in that hole behind the front man, leaving Van Gaal with plenty of options.
Mata is not at his best when shunted out wide, and despite a few performances which have caught the eye, that consistency which was so evident in the blue of Chelsea has not been as prominent in the red of Manchester United.
However, Mata has been at Manchester United for less than a year, and sometimes it does take a player some time to acclimatise to new surroundings. Having said that, though, Mata was at an advantage heading into Old Trafford having acquired plenty of experience in the Premier League while playing for Chelsea.
Along with Juventus, Atletico Madrid have also been heavily linked with a move, and the reports suggests Mata will prefer a switch back to Spain. Valencia, his former club, is also an option, and it remains to be seen which club Mata chooses to sign for, assuming, of course, that he will actually be allowed to leave Manchester United.