Manchester United star Mata is close friends with De Gea, and the duo are expected to feature in tonight’s Champions League showdown with Barcelona
Manchester United star Mata is close friends with De Gea, and the duo are expected to feature in tonight’s Champions League showdown with Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
De Gea goes into the match with speculation arising over his future, however, with the Spain international yet to sign a contract extension at Old Trafford.
Manchester United want their No 1 to stay, but reports have claimed the shot-stopper is seeking the same bumper pay packet as Alexis Sanchez to commit to a new deal.
Real Madrid have been backed to sign him – four years on from the failed saga of 2015 – following Zinedine Zidane’s return as manager.
European heavyweights PSG and Juventus are also in the race to sign De Gea on a free contract in 2020.
But Mata has insisted De Gea is happy at United and admitted that his close friend is still talking over a new deal.
“David is an extraordinary player,” Mata told Mundo Deportivo of his compatriot.
“He gives you points and stops the game changing in a matter of seconds.
“There are not many like him, rather they are scarce.
“He talks about his future for a long time but he still has a contract. It is quiet, centred.
“I see him well and happy.”
Mata was also asked about United’s chances of a top four finish.
With just five games of the season the Red Devils sit sixth in the table, two points behind Arsenal in fourth.
Initially, United looked to have no chance of securing Champions League finish for next season with the club previously toiling under Jose Mourinho.
And Mata has admitted it would be a major disappointment if they failed to achieve their goal.
“A few months ago it was almost ruled out to get a place in Champions League,” he added.
“Now that we are close it would be a disappointment not to get it.
“We have done the hardest thing, which is to reach after going back more than twelve points. Having added the last three points was crucial.
“We are with options and it is positive if we analyse where we were in November.”