Ralf Rangnick has stated that competition for midfield positions has made it tough for him to choose Juan Mata since taking over as head coach.

Mata has made four appearances for the 20-time English champions this season, two of them in the Champions League, with his most recent appearance coming against Young Boys in December.

The Spaniard also appeared in the FA Cup against Middlesbrough in early February, but has yet to play a minute of Premier League football this season.

Rangnick has stated that the 33-year-old is “very beloved” within the club, but the competition for positions in his position has made it tough to provide him with consistent playing time.

“Well, he is also very popular in our group. I think everybody likes Juan a lot, and he can still play on this level, but it’s a question of competition,” Rangnick told reporters.

“We have quite a few players for those midfield places and I will also have to decide and choose between five or six players for the places for tomorrow’s game.”

Mata’s contract at Old Trafford expires at the conclusion of the season, and it has been suggested that he may be offered the opportunity to become a coach with the Red Devils.


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