Barcelona have made contact with the representatives of Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata as they weigh up a move for the Spain international.Goal understands Barca are interested in bringing Mata to Camp Nou this summer, with the 30-year-old available on a free transfer at the end of the season as his contract at Old Trafford runs down.Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have also shown an interest in the former Chelsea star, meaning there is likely to be a battle for his signature should he fail to sign a new deal with the Red Devils. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? It is understood that Man Utd remain in discussions with Mata relating to a new deal but there has yet to be a positive conclusion reached, though they remain hopeful they can persuade the Spaniard to remain at Old Trafford beyond this summerThe club triggered a one-year option in his current deal to keep him until July 2019, but interest from elsewhere could see his head turned.Mata’s current contract sees him earn £140,000-a-week, but the fact that his signing would involve no transfer fee means Barca see him as a bargain among an ever inflated market.The Blaugrana have already secured the services of one midfielder for next season after completing the €75 million (£65m/$85m) capture of Ajax’s Frenkie de Jong on Wednesday.They continue to be linked with PSG’s Adrien Rabiot, who is also set to be available on a free this summer, with Ernesto Valverde keen to bolster his options in the middle of the park.Having joined Man Utd in January 2014, Mata has made 208 appearances for the 20-time champions of English football, scoring 44 goals and contributing 35 assists.He has struggled to hold down a regular starting berth under any of his three permanent managers at the club, with just nine of his 15 league appearances this season coming from the start.Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the reins following Jose Mourinho’s sacking Mata has found himself on the bench more often than not, with the Norwegian coach prefering a front three of Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.As such it is difficult to see him having a medium to long-term future with the club, and a move away might be in his best interests.Mata did come through the Real Madrid youth system before moving to Valencia at the age of 19, and a potential move to Catalunya would mark his first return to Spain since leaving Mestalla for Chelsea in 2011.
by Dan Healing, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 20, 2016 2:00 am MDT Last Updated Jul 20, 2016 at 5:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email (Stock photo: FreeImages.com) CALGARY – Analysts predict oil prices driven higher by production stoppages during the Fort McMurray, Alta., wildfires in May will bolster the bottom lines of Canadian oil and gas companies as they report financial results starting this week.Western Canada Select, the benchmark price for blended oilsands bitumen, rose by 58 per cent in the three months ended June 30 to an average of Cdn$42.52 per barrel from $26.93 in the first quarter of the year, said analyst Nick Lupick of AltaCorp Capital.“Unfortunately, one of the contributing factors helping support Canadian crude prices in the quarter were the forest fires in Fort McMurray, which saw a total of 1.5 million barrels per day of bitumen and SCO (synthetic crude oil) production offline at its peak in mid-May,” he said on Tuesday.He previously estimated that a total of about 28 million barrels worth $1.6 billion of oilsands production had been lost because of the fire.Reporting season for major Canadian oil and gas producers starts Thursday with Encana (TSX:ECA), a company whose production was unaffected by the fire. A CIBC report estimates that Encana’s quarter-over-quarter cash flow — the difference between available cash at the start of the quarter versus the end — could rise 65 per cent due to the higher prices.On Friday, Husky Energy (TSX:HSE) is scheduled to report results that will reflect a decline in oilsands production at its Sunrise project in northern Alberta from 27,200 barrels per day in April to 4,300 bpd in May, according to statistics provided by analysts. The project was suspended for part of the month due to employee evacuations and pipeline shutdowns, although it sustained no physical damage.Despite the lower production, Husky is expected to post a nine per cent increase in cash flow due to higher oil prices and better refinery profit margins, according to a report from RBC.Alberta drivers unintentionally relieved some of the pain of lost production for oilsands producers Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) and Imperial Oil (TSX:IMO), Lupick said.Gasoline shortages in early June caused by a mechanical outage at Suncor’s Edmonton refinery, combined with a maintenance shutdown at Imperial Oil’s nearby refinery, led to some service stations running out of fuel, driving up both prices at the pump and downstream profit margins for the refinery owners.Suncor is expected to report July 27 and Imperial on July 29.A recent report from CIBC analyst Arthur Grayfer based on internal industry statistics showed that output from thermal oilsands projects — those that use steam to produce bitumen from wells — fell to about 900,000 bpd in May from about 1.2 million bpd in April. The biggest drop was at Suncor’s Firebag project, which went from 201,000 bpd in April to about 30,000 bpd in May.Similar statistics for oilsands mines are to be available next month, analysts said.———Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter. Higher prices from Fort McMurray wildfire to boost Q2 energy company results