Transfer news: Manchester United are so big, we can buy top players even without Champions League pull, claims David Moyes - Premier League - Football - The Independent

Transfer news: Manchester United are so big, we can buy top players even without Champions League pull, claims David Moyes

Juan Mata was convinced to join from Chelsea despite no guarantee the Red Devils will qualify for Europe's premier competition

Manchester United will continue to pursue the best players in the world even if they fail to qualify for the Champions League, said David Moyes yesterday. The man sitting alongside him was proof of that.

Having completed the signing of Juan Mata for a club-record fee of £37.1m, the Manchester United manager was unequivocal when asked what Old Trafford’s future might look like outside the European elite. “Players will still join Manchester United for what the club stands for, for what it’s been, its history and the players who have come through here,” he said. “I think the message this sends is that we are going for all the best players in the world at Manchester United and I think Juan is one of those.”

Financially, the loss of Champions League football will make no difference to United since the average £30m revenues it generates will be made up by the income from the kit deal with General Motors that comes into effect next season.

The press conferences that announced United’s official noodle partner, official spirits partner and official tyre partner may have produced plenty of sniggers but the deals have built up a considerable financial buffer against short-term failure.

Moyes argued there would be more players sold between the big Premier League clubs “because that is where the best players are concentrated”. There was surprise the Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, had made Mata available but Moyes added: “Chelsea have got several players of his type, in a way. We didn’t have that type and I thought we could do with this kind of player.”

One of the considerations Mata had to weigh up when deciding to leave Stamford Bridge was that he would be ineligible to play for United in this season’s Champions League and that he would be joining a club that, frankly, are floundering.

“What I like most about the club is its character,” he said. “If any other club was in this position in the league, it would be very, very difficult for them to come back and take first position.

“This club can do it, always can do it. This is a club that can fight together to the end, with character on the pitch. The real image I have of Manchester United is a club always trying to win titles, always fighting for everything and always coming back from difficult moments.”

Nevertheless, if Mata could afford to ignore the European Cup he won in his first season at Chelsea, the World Cup is another matter. Iker Casillas might make Vicente del Bosque’s starting line-up in Brazil without being first choice for his club, but there will not be many more exceptions. “The World Cup was really important in my thinking,” said Mata. “The Spanish squad is a very difficult one to get into. I hope this move is going to be a great chance for me, to keep playing, be fit and show the manager of the national team that I want to be there and that I have to be there.”

During United’s last “difficult moment”, the staggeringly incompetent penalty shoot-out with Sunderland for a place in the League Cup final, Moyes looked drained and beaten even by the standards of a season in which pictures of him grimacing on the touchline have been strewn across the back pages.

Yesterday, he was relaxed, buoyant even. It was perhaps not the moment to remind him that the last two managers to sign Mata, Andre Villas-Boas at Chelsea and Valencia’s Quique Sanchez Flores, did not last long after his arrival.

Both on and off the pitch, however, the 25-year-old is Moyes’ kind of player – educated, intelligent and obvious captaincy material over the course of his five-year contract. When he was Everton manager, Moyes was infuriated by Wayne Rooney chewing gum during a press conference.

Here he noted the cut of Mata’s suit – “a gentleman” he called him. The player in turn appreciated the helicopter United had laid on to take him to their training complex at Carrington.

Mata, who will reinforce a midfield Sir Alex Ferguson neglected during his final years at United, may be the most important signing since Rooney himself arrived at Old Trafford in the summer of 2004. Moyes recognises that, by himself, Mata is not enough.

“What he can do is help improve results,” he said. “We have had a problem at Old Trafford making and scoring goals. That has been our biggest downfall.

“I don’t think this puts my stamp on the team because a couple of new signings isn’t all that’s needed,” he said. “There is a bigger job to be done but you have to start somewhere.

“If you asked me what I needed most, I would say a central midfielder. I could do with a left-back but I hoped something would fall for us in the transfer window. But Juan can’t solve everything.”

 

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week