Manchester United have confirmed Juan Mata will be leaving when his contract expires at the end of this month as the Spaniard became the latest to have his departure announced by the club.
Mata, who signed from Chelsea for £ 37.1million in January 2014, joins Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard in heading out of the exit door at Old Trafford.
The diminutive Spaniard, a fan favorite at United, made 285 appearances for the Red Devils but leaves with many supporters feeling he failed to fulfill his potential.
Juan Mata will wave goodbye to Manchester United when his contract expires this month
United released their third lengthy statement in two days to confirm Mata was leaving
Further departures are expected at the club this summer – including Nemanja Matic and Edinson Cavani – as United seek to rebuild under new manager Erik ten Hag.
Mata, 34, won the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League with the club but was unable to achieve his ambition of lifting the Premier League title at United.
‘Thank you for dedicating eight years of your career to United, Juan,’ United said in a statement. ‘Everyone at the club wishes you all the best for the future.’
A World Cup and European Championship winner with Spain, Mata’s arrival from Premier League rivals Chelsea in the January transfer window in 2014 was met with excitement from supporters.
His first full season at Old Trafford was remembered for a superb acrobatic volley in a 2-1 victory away at Liverpool in a game dubbed by United fans as ‘Juanfield’.
Mata claimed his first trophy at United in 2016 as he scored the equalizer in their 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final.
He was then part of the side that won the League Cup and Europa League in 2017 under Jose Mourinho.
Mata went on to make more than 30 appearances in each of the 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 before his role in the side began to diminish.
He played in only 12 games for in his final campaign at the club, with his last appearance in a United shirt coming in the 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on the last day of the season.
Mata – unlike Lingard, much to the frustration of the player and his family – enjoyed an Old Trafford send-off as he was given a rousing reception after the 3-0 win over Brentford, United’s final home game of the season.
The Spaniard’s next destination is not yet known but he has hinted at continuing with his playing career.
‘I still have a lot of passion and a lot of will to keep enjoying football,’ Mata said in April.
‘This is a dream come true to be a professional football player so I want to play as much as I can.’
More to follow.