Manchester United have confirmed they have triggered a one-year extension clause in midfielder Juan Mata’s contract that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2019. (Source: Official Manchester United Website)
The Spaniard was in the final six months of the deal he signed when he joined the club from Chelsea in 2014 but United had the option of keeping him for an extra season.
That option has now been exercised, with the 29-year-old now committed to the Old Trafford club until the summer of 2019.
After confirming that the club had extended Mata’s contract, United manager Jose Mourinho said: “Mata is very important. When I arrived one-and-a-half years ago, [they said], ‘Mata is in trouble, in trouble, in trouble’, and now he’s getting an extension of one more year. An important player for me; important player for the club; important player for the other players.”
There was speculation about Mata’s future when the Red Devils completed the signing of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, with questions arising where the playmaker would fit under Mourinho in the current team.
But following an extension, Mata’s future at the club is secured and the midfielder expressed his delight, stressing he is privileged to continue at United.
“I still feel very happy and very proud to be part of this club,” he told the club’s official website.
“I think everyone that belongs to Manchester United should feel privileged, and that’s how I feel.
“I’m happy with everyone at the club and, obviously, with the manager and my team-mates. Once you are part of this club, your football career is not the same; it changes, because this is one of the biggest clubs in football history. Every day I try to tell myself how lucky and how privileged I am, try to take advantage of every single training session, and try to see how important it is to be a Manchester United player.”
A firm fan favourite, Mata has won the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League during his time at Old Trafford. The Spaniard, who joined United from Chelsea in 2014, has scored three goals and registered three assists in 19 Premier League appearances this season.
“At eight, ten, twelve years old, I never imagined that I would play for such a club,” the midfielder added.
“I remember the big players – Scholes, Giggs, Beckham, Van Nistelrooy, Ferdinand, Vidic – and it felt so far from where I was playing, but now I’m here it’s a special feeling.
“We have had so many new players during my four years, but now we know each other and understand each other better. We are creating a kind of stability that I believe is needed to build and to create a positive consistency in terms of getting results and getting trophies.”
One has to wait and watch how frequently Mourinho uses Mata in the 2018-19 season.
Meanwhile, AS Roma are eyeing defender Daley Blind.
The Dutch international has fallen down the pecking order under Mourinho, losing out to Ashley Young and Luke Shaw in the left-back position.
Blind has found opportunities very limited and has only featured 15 times for the club this term.
But famous Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claims in his official website that Roma’s interest in Blind has faded due to the lack of agreement with Manchester United and the Serie A club are now targeting Sporting Lisbon’s Jonathan Silva.