Manchester United today announced that Spanish midfielder Juan Mata has signed a new contract with the club. Mata’s new deal will see him stay at Old Trafford until 2021 with the option of an additional year.
Mata’s original contract with the club was due expire on June 30, and despite drawing interest for multiple clubs around Europe, the midfielder has decided his future lies in Manchester.
The 31-year-old joined United for £37.5m during the 2014 January transfer window, when he was brought to the club by then manager David Moyes. Since joining the club, he has made 161 appearances, scoring 33 goals.
Speaking about his new deal to the official website, Mata described Old Trafford as ”home” and that he is “honoured to be able to continue to represent the club.” Mata said:
“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.
“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 news of his new deal was also something that delighted manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who said that Juan is the ultimate professional and one of the most intelligent players he had worked with. Solskjaer told the official club website:
“Juan is the ultimate professional and one of the most intelligent players I have worked with. 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.”
It's not the news that United fans had been hoping for as new signings this summer are clearly a must, however to keep a player like Mata is something that the team needed, and if the club and manager do press forward to bring in young players then the experience of players like Mata is essential.