By Alex Stevens
Everton have been installed as strong favourites to sign Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata in the wake of the Jose Mourinho controversy on Sunday.
Mourinho has cast more doubt over Mata’s Old Trafford future after subbing the midfielder less than half an hour after bringing him on in Sunday’s Community Shield win over Leicester.
The Spaniard replaced Jesse Lingard during the Wembley clash , only to be hauled off 27 minutes later for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The former Chelsea man had his odds slashed to 9/4 by betting company Sky Bet on Monday morning to make what would be a stunning move to Goodison Park.
Valencia are distant second favourites to sign Mata at 16/1, priced narrowly ahead of Juventus, who are 18/1 to land the Spain international.
Everton have been linked with Mata as Ronald Koeman overhauls his squad using the £100million transfer kitty handed to him by billionaire Goodison owner Farhad Moshiri.
Mata’s Old Trafford future has been in doubt following the appointment of Mourinho.
The Portugese sold Mata to United for £37million in January 2014 when he was Chelsea boss just six months after the Spaniard had been named the club’s player of the year for the second consecutive campaign.
Mata, 28, has been an integral member of the United team since joining the club and was a first-team regular under previous boss Louis van Gaal.
Used predominantly on the right flank, Mata made 54 appearances in all competitions for the Premier League giants last season, scoring 10 goals and supplying 11 assists.
In other Everton transfer news, the club have lined up a move for a Newcastle ace, but the deal will not be part of the Brendan Galloway talks.