The news we had been waiting for, finally began to filter last night, as first just a couple of sources, then the whole media outlet confirmed that, yes, Juan Mata will be a Manchester United signing, the second time in 18 months that United secure one of their rivals’ best player of the season, having already done so with RVP.
The Spaniard arrives at Old Trafford with a club record price-tag on his back, the deal to take Mata to United thought to be worth in the region of £40m, thus dwarfing the £30.75m United shelled out for Dimitar Berbatov on deadline day in August 2008, a sign of times, perhaps.
More importantly, Mata’s arrival is David Moyes’ first success since replacing Sir Alex Ferguson in the Old Trafford dugout last July and the United manager will be desperate for his new signing to deliver a much-needed boost to his new team.
Mata will undergo a medical today and he’s expected to pun pen to paper on a lucrative deal and could make his Manchester United debut on Tuesday, when Cardiff City visit Old Trafford.
The deal had been delayed as Chelsea wanted to tie up the signing of Mohamed Salah from Basel, before putting pen to paper to the transfer agreement, but after the last formalities were resolved, Manchester Unite released an official statement to confirm their new club record signing.
“Manchester United is pleased to announce it has reached an agreement with Chelsea for the transfer of Juan Mata for a club record fee. The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms. A further announcement will be made in due course,” said the statement on United’s official website.
Mata isn’t going to be the solution to all of United’s problems, but he remains an incredible signing, particularly considering how difficult it is to capture world class players in the January transfer window and how many thought David Moyes did not have the necessary charm to lure players like Mata to Old Trafford.