Manchester United have activated a clause to extend Spanish midfielder Juan Mata’s contract by one year, the Red Devils announced, much to the delight of their fans.
“Manchester United have triggered a clause to extend Juan Mata’s contract by one year, tying the Spaniard to the club until June 2019,” the club stated on Tuesday.
Signed by David Moyes in January 2014 from rivals Chelsea, Mata established himself as a fan favourite at Old Trafford, but the arrival of Jose Mourinho in the summer of 2016 had apparently signalled the end of his career in Manchester.
For it was the Portuguese who had sanctioned the Spaniard’s sale while in charge at Chelsea and many felt that the diminutive midfielder wouldn’t last long, but against all odds, he did and is seen as a vital part of the the self-styled Special One’s squad.
“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,” United manager Jose Mourinho was quoted as saying by the club website.
The Premier League giants have enjoyed the peak years of the Spaniard’s career and with the acquisition of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, look primed to reestablish themselves as continental powerhouses.
Currently, the Red Devils trail derby rivals Manchester City by a hefty 12 points in the league table and will look to trim that gap when they travel to Wembley to take on Tottenham Hotspur in the highlight Premier League clash of Matchday 25.
Mourinho’s men are competing for silverware on three fronts as they are still in contention in the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup.
While Mata may not be guaranteed starter anymore, his experience will prove vital as the games come thick and fast in the latter stages of the 2017-18 season.