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Saturday 25 January 2014

Mata: 'You don't turn down chance to join Man Utd'

Chelsea and Spain midfielder moves to Old Trafford for club-record fee of £37.1m

David Moyes, left, called Mata 'one of the finest playmakers in the game today'

Manchester United have signed Juan Mata from Chelsea for a club-record fee of £37.1m. The Spain midfielder's move is the most expensive and high profile in the Barclays Premier League of the January transfer window so far.

"I am excited at the chance to be part of the next phase in the club's history"
Juan Mata

"United is the perfect place for me and I am excited at the chance I have to be part of the next phase in the club's history," Mata told the United website. "Chelsea is a top club and I have many friends there but you cannot turn down the chance to join Manchester United.

"I have enjoyed some very happy years at Chelsea, but the time has come for a new challenge."

Despite being Chelsea's player of the year for the past two seasons Mata spent most of the 2013/14 campaign on the substitutes' bench. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho granted Mata's request to leave Stamford Bridge in light of United's interest and with the Blues appearing to have a replacement lined up, having announced that they have agreed a deal for Basle and Egypt winger Mohamed Salah.

"I and everyone at Chelsea have massive respect for Juan and his big talent, and when he told us of his wish to move on because he wanted to play more, we did not want to deny him this opportunity," Mourinho told the Chelsea website. "We want him to be successful in his career and as well as that, this transfer makes huge financial sense to us at Chelsea.

"We are pleased Juan will stay in England, even with a rival club. He is happy in this country and it is good the Premier League retains such a talented player."

United manager David Moyes expressed his delight at the arrival and is planning to use Mata in the next Barclays Premier League match at home to Cardiff City as his team seek to rise from seventh place in the table, where they are 14 points adrift of the leaders Arsenal.

"Juan is one of the finest playmakers in the game today and it's a real pleasure to have secured his signature," Moyes told the club’s website. “He's been instrumental in Chelsea's recent success, with a notable 28 assists and 32 goals in his last two Premier League seasons.

"Juan is one of the finest playmakers in the game today"
David Moyes

"I have been impressed with the excitement he has shown to be part of the new Manchester United. I know our fans have admired Juan for some time now — he has always played well against us — and I know they will be delighted to see him in the red of United; starting on Tuesday."

Mata scored 18 Barclays Premier League goals in 82 appearances since joining Chelsea from Valencia in 2011. He made an immediate impact, helping Chelsea win the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup in his first season at Stamford Bridge, and lifting the UEFA Europa League last May at the end of a campaign in which he also doubled his league goal tally from the previous season.

Mata's record in the Barclays Premier League

Mata's BPL appearances breakdown
Played Started
Subbed on
Subbed off
82 71 11 41 46 18 18

Mata's BPL goals breakdown
Left foot
Right foot
Shot accuracy
Total shots
Shot conversion rate

Mata's BPL passes and assists
Assists Chances created
Passes Passing accuracy Open-play assists Set-piece assists Dead-ball assists 2nd assists
27 227 3861 86.3% 15 12 10 4

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Key Points

  • Juan Mata completes move from Chelsea to Manchester United
  • The 25-year-old joins Barclays Premier League champions for a club-record fee of £37.1m
  • Mata eligible to make debut at Old Trafford against Cardiff City in Barclays Premier League