Manchester United have avoided losing Juan Mata on a free transfer at the end of the month, agreeing a new two-year contract with him.
Juan Mata has signed a new two-year contract, with the option for a further season, at Manchester United.
Mata’s previous deal was due to expire at the end of June, but after protracted negotiations United confirmed on Wednesday they have struck an agreement to keep the Spaniard at Old Trafford.
“It is a real honour to continue to represent this amazing club and our incredible fans. I have been at Manchester United for five years and I am proud to call Old Trafford my home,” said Mata.
“I am looking forward to working with Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] and his fantastic coaching staff; the vision that they have for the club is truly exciting and I am so happy that I will be a part of that.”
The 31-year-old joined United in January 2014 after losing his spot in Chelsea’s first team, swiftly becoming a fixture in the side under David Moyes.
Although Mata has gone on to make 161 Premier League appearances for United, he has never managed to rediscover the form he showed in his second season at Chelsea, when he netted 20 times across all competitions.
The most Mata has managed in a single campaign at United is 10 goals on all fronts.
We can confirm Juan Mata has signed a new contract with #MUFC.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) June 19, 2019
However, Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer have all persisted with using Mata as a right winger on occasion, despite his lack of pace, while he made only 22 Premier League appearances and just 16 starts in 2018-19.
Nevertheless, United have deemed him important enough to strike a deal, meaning the Real Madrid youth product will not join the expected close-season exodus at the club.
“Juan is the ultimate professional and one of the most intelligent players I have worked with,” said Solskjaer, who made Daniel James his first United signing earlier this month.
“He is a great example to our younger players in his approach. He understands what it means to be a Manchester United player and has embraced everything about this great club.
“As well as everything he brings on the pitch, we have some fantastic young players here and I know that Juan’s vast experience will help them to reach their potential over the coming seasons.
“I am delighted that he has signed a new contract, as I know that his talent and mentality will be invaluable to the squad.”
Antonio Valencia and Ander Herrera are already confirmed departures from United, while Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian, Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku have all been strongly linked with moves.