Manchester United’s Juan Mata has this week been strongly linked with Spanish side Espanyol, but after their director of sport made it abundantly clear he knew nothing about it, a new destination was always going to be around the corner.

Italian newspaper Tuttosport believe Mata could well be a target for Inter Milan, as other options, such as Gabriel Jesus, fall away for the Italian club. The move would be on a loan basis, with Inter then having an obligation to purchase the player, perhaps based on games played during the loan period.

Inter are repeatedly linked with big transfer ideas, and they very rarely happen. Mata may well want a more stable club, and that’s even if he has to leave Manchester United, which isn’t an absolute certainty, given that he’s still there.

Manchester United, if they had any intention of considering this deal, would want a loan fee, Inter to pay the player’s wages, and then a big fee to make it permanent… it wouldn’t be cheap.