Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari has identified Juan Mata as an ideal replacement for Isco at the Santiago Bernabéu, according to one report in Spain.

The Spain international midfielder has seemingly had a falling out with Solari following his appointment in the capital, where the 42-year-old stepped up to replace Julen Lopetegui in November.


Friction between the two has seen Isco's place in the Real Madrid first team come under threat, and most recent developments suggest that the former Málaga star could even be moved on sooner rather than later.

Spanish outlet El Gol Digital claims that Real Madrid are lining up Manchester United midfielder Mata as Isco's replacement at the Bernabéu.

Solari believes that signing Mata on a free transfer when his contract expires next summer would be a bargain and that the 30-year-old would be better suited to his style of play.

The report adds that Mata has no intention of signing a new contract with Manchester United and that he's become frustrated with a lack of first team opportunities under manager José Mourinho.

The midfielder has, however, suggested that he is still 'happy' in England.

"All I can say is that I'm happy in Manchester and in England," Mata said, quoted by Sky Sports"I've been in England for some years now and I'm very happy to be in this incredible club, so let's see what happens but, at the moment, I'm very happy."

Mata has made over 200 appearances for Manchester United throughout his four-year spell at the club, scoring 43 goals and claiming 35 assists.

Manchester United v Arsenal - Premier League

Although Real Madrid could well be looking at Mata's availability, there doesn't appear to be anything to suggest that the reigning European champions want to use the veteran midfielder as a replacement for Isco.

The club recently revamped their recruitment policy and now there is a heavy emphasis on signing players for the future, as opposed to tried and trusted players from across the continent.