As per a report from the Telegraph’s James Ducker this evening, Manchester United and Juan Mata have agreed on a the terms of a contract extension, which is set to keep the Spaniard at the club ‘longer than the one year that was initially on offer’.
Attacking-midfielder Mata, now 31, has been on the books of United since January of 2014, when he made the surprise move to Old Trafford from Chelsea for a then club-record fee of just over £37 million.
The Spaniard subsequently went on to enjoy a productive start to life at Old Trafford, with Mata having racked up 6 goals and 4 assists across 15 Premier League appearances over the second-half of the 2013/14 campaign.
The seasons that followed, meanwhile, saw the former Valencia man prove an integral, if often underappreciated member of United’s midfield.
The last couple of campaigns, though, have seen Mata’s game-time begin to dwindle.
This past season, the 41-time capped international managed starts in just 16 of United’s 38 Premier League outings.
United exit links
As such, with the gifted midfielder’s United contract having been due to expire at the end of this month, a number of clubs had long been rumoured to be eyeing Mata’s signature on a free transfer this summer.
The likes of PSG, Juventus, Barcelona and even Arsenal were all named as suitors of the veteran.
Protracted negotiations between Mata and the board at Old Trafford, meanwhile, had proven unfruitful for the last 18 months.
But, as per the aforementioned update from the Telegraph this evening, just two weeks before the Spaniard’s contract had been due to expire, an agreement has finally been found.
And, in something of a surprise move, United have gone against their usual policy regarding veteran players to keep hold of Mata, by handing the 31-year-old a deal ‘longer than the one-year extension that was initially on offer.’
The exact length of Mata’s proposed deal has not been confirmed. However, the Guardian suggest that it is set to run until 2022:
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) June 18, 2019