Manchester United players have been left bemused by Ralf Rangnick’s treatment of Juan Mata. The Spaniard has largely been sidelined by the German coach as the problems stack up at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils were thrashed by Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday to seriously hamper their top four chances.
Kevin de Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez both scored braces in a 4-1 win to ramp the pressure up on Rangnick.
The German coach might only be at the club until the end of the season but he has faced a litany of problems since taking over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
And the latest behind the scenes has left his players mystified after ostracising Mata.
The former Chelsea star has been training very well, report The Athletic, and has no fitness issues.
Yet the playmaker has not played a single minute in the Premier League while he has managed just four appearances across the season in the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup – totalling 171 minutes.
Mata is out of contract at the end of the season and looks nailed on to leave for nothing when the transfer window opens this summer.
The Athletic further state that several La Liga clubs are interested in his services and he could return to his homeland to extend his career.
The 33-year-old has played 277 times for United, contributing 51 goals and 47 assists over eight years at Old Trafford.
But his decision to renew his contract last year on a 12-month basis has appeared to spectacularly backfire despite his efforts in training.
And the Spaniard’s teammates are confused by Rangnick’s policy, especially with the club toiling in midfield.
The former RB Leipzig coach has preferred Bruno Fernandes as a No. 10 while against City on Sunday he was used as a false-nine.
But Mata has played just 20 minutes since his arrival – a cameo appearance against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup where the Red Devils were sent packing on penalties.