Manchester United, after ploughing the depths of despair following the 3-1 loss to Chelsea in the English Premier League on Sunday, are seriously contemplating making a club record bid for Blues midfielder Juan Mata.
The Spanish playmaker is far from first choice under Jose Mourinho, who has made it clear he prefers the likes of Oscar, Willlian and Andre Schurrle, without considering the undroppable Eden Hazard that is, to Mata, leaving the former Valencia man to seriously consider moving to a new club in the January transfer window in order to keep his chances of making the Spain squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil intact.
According to an exclusive in the Daily Telegraph, Manchester United are considering making an official offer for Mata, but know that the bid will need to be on the seriously higher side for Chelsea to even consider selling to a Premier League rival.
United refused to let go of their premier player Wayne Rooney to Chelsea during the summer, and remain adamant on not selling the England international to a rival English club.
Chelsea could take a similar stance for Mata as well, which would then render United's chances of acquiring the talented playmaker in the zero category.
However, the report suggests United believe they can persuade Chelsea to sell Mata if a bid of around £37 million were to be made, which would be a club record for the reigning Premier League champions - the mark is currently held by Dimitar Berbatov following his £30.7 million move from Tottenham in the summer of 2008.
Mourinho has repeatedly expressed his desire to keep Mata at the club until at least the end of the season, but Mata is reportedly keen to switch clubs to garner some much-needed playing time.
Arsenal midfielder and Spain teammate Santi Cazorla said he was bemused by Mourinho's decision to keep Mata on the bench for the majority of the season and believes his compatriot will want to leave if the situation does not change.
"If he does not play he will want to leave Chelsea, this is obvious because it is a World Cup year," Cazorla was quoted as saying by the Daily Star.
"It's weird because Juan Mata does not play [but] he has proved his worth to Chelsea and to see him on the bench is weird. He should ask Mourinho to know why he does not trust him."
The 25-year-old, the reigning two-time club player of the year, has not featured for Chelsea since New Year's Day when he showed his disappointment after being substituted. Mata has been linked with moves abroad, with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG and Monaco reportedly showing an interest.
However, United did show they are willing to spend money for the right player, with the Red Devils reportedly failing with a late bid to land Gareth Bale last summer.
David Moyes is desperate to strengthen his squad, with United currently languishing in seventh place, 14 points off leaders Arsenal, and six adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool.
After a dreadful summer window, where United failed to bring in any of their preferred targets, if the Manchester side can somehow tempt Chelsea to sell Mata, then it will be seen as a huge coup and might just act as a catalyst to their surge up the table.