Transfer news: Juan Mata signs for Manchester United – as Wayne Rooney offered new £300,000 per week contract
Spaniard officially signs at Old Trafford as Moyes eyes two further signings and a new Rooney deal
Saturday 25 January 2014
Manchester United confirmed the signing of Juan Mata for a club-record fee of £37.1 million on Saturday night, potentially kicking off a frantic last week of the transfer window for the English champions.
The club hope Wayne Rooney will also sign a new £300,000-a-week contract, although sources close to the situation maintain negotiations are still not that advanced and no deal has yet been struck.
Mata flew into United’s Carrington training centre by helicopter and successfully completed his medical. His price tag surpasses the £30.75m United spent on Dimitar Berbatov in 2008.
The Spain midfielder was warmly greeted by United players in person and on social media on Saturday, but he may only be the first of three arrivals. David Moyes, United’s manager, also wants to bring in a central midfielder and a left-back before Friday’s deadline. One club source stated: “There is a real excitement around Old Trafford.”
United officials were hugely confident earlier last week that Rooney would finally agree to a deal. It is understood the player and his camp are “open-minded” about a new deal and willing to see whether the offer matches their terms.
Some Old Trafford sources claim that marks a significant change in stance and that Rooney’s representatives had previously refused to enter negotiations despite a number of attempts. Those close to the player maintain that it was always merely their intention to “wait and see” how things worked out, however, and that their position was never that cast-iron. Rooney is known to have wanted to see who United sign in this window and how they are then set up to finish the season, with Champions’ League qualification an obvious concern.
In that regard, the purchase of Mata will have enthused Rooney, and it was noted that he “followed” the former Chelsea player on Twitter on Friday.
In a statement from the club, Mata said: “I am thrilled to be joining United. I have enjoyed some very happy years at Chelsea but the time has come for a new challenge.
“United is the perfect place for me and I am excited at the chance I have to be part of the next phase in the club’s history. Chelsea is a top club and I have many friends there but you cannot turn down the chance to join Manchester United.”
Moyes, who intends to play Mata in the League game against Cardiff on Tuesday, said: “Juan is one of the finest playmakers in the game today and it’s a real pleasure to have secured his signature. He’s been instrumental in Chelsea’s recent success, with a notable 28 assists and 32 goals in his last two Premier League seasons.
“I have been impressed with the excitement he has shown to be part of the new Manchester United. I know our fans have admired Juan for some time now – he has always played well against us – and I know they will be delighted to see him in the red of United, starting on Tuesday.”
United have also made a £22m bid for Southampton’s Luke Shaw, and initial contact has been for a number of midfielders, including Juventus’ Arturo Vidal. They are also looking at Newcastle United’s Yohan Cabaye and Bayern Munich’s Toni Kroos as well as, in the longer term, Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gündogan.
After selling Mata, Jose Mourinho claims Chelsea will sign a prime goalscorer in the summer rather than this week. He stated his January business will be finished with the anticipated purchase of Basel’s Mohamed Salah.
“It’s something we have to do in the next transfer window,” said Mourinho. “It’s an area where none of our three strikers is the striker for the next 10 years, like we have in the other positions.” He also denied that he is not convinced by his on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku.
West Ham made it an Italian double yesterday as they signed Marco Borriello and Antonio Nocerino on loan until the end of the season. Both Italy internationals, the striker Borriello arrives from Roma and midfielder Nocerino from Milan.
Borriello, 31, won the Serie A title with Juventus during a loan spell in 2012. The 28-year-old Nocerino, who scored one of the penalties in the shoot-out against England at Euro 2012, has found himself sidelined at San Siro after arriving there in 2011.
Stoke have reached an agreement with Cardiff over a move for Peter Odemwingie, which will see Kenwyne Jones head to south Wales in a player-exchange transfer.
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