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Manchester United

Mata signs new one-year contract at Man Utd to keep him out of free agent pool

11:05 BST 02/07/2021
Juan Mata Manchester United 2020
The experienced Spanish midfielder has agreed to extend his association with the Red Devils into a ninth season

Juan Mata has signed a new one-year contract at Manchester United, with that agreement keeping him out of the free agent pool and at Old Trafford until the summer of 2022.

The 33-year-old World Cup winner had seen his previous deal with the Red Devils expire at the end of June.

Discussions regarding fresh terms had, however, been taking place for some time and a long-serving member of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's squad will be sticking around for a ninth season.

What has been said?

In a statement on the club's official website, the Red Devils said: "Manchester United is delighted to announce Juan Mata has agreed a one-year contract, keeping him at Old Trafford until June 2022.

"The 33-year-old completed a transfer from Premier League rivals Chelsea in January 2014 and has since made 273 appearances as a Red, scoring 51 goals in the process.

"His impressive tally of strikes includes a memorable brace against Liverpool at Anfield in 2015 and an all-important equaliser in the victorious 2016 Emirates FA Cup final versus Crystal Palace.

"Dubbed a magician on the pitch and a gentleman off it, Mata has become one of the most popular players in recent United history and he is highly respected by all of his team-mates. 

"The World Cup winner’s influence on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s young, improving squad is invaluable and the manager continues to be a huge supporter of the fleet-footed Spaniard.

"While his 2020-21 season was limited to 18 appearances, partly due to personal circumstances, Mata’s contribution remained and he was notably one of six Reds to win our Player of the Month awards, alongside Edinson Cavani, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw. 

"With a new one-year contract agreed and pre-season training about to start at Carrington, Juan is raring to go in what will be his ninth campaign at United. 

"Congratulations on your new deal, El Mago."

The bigger picture

Mata faces fierce competition for places within United's squad, with Solskjaer not short on creative options.

The likes of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Donny van Beek are all battling for the right to provide a playmaking spark.

Uncertainty over regular game time could have forced Mata to look elsewhere, with minutes needed at this stage of a distinguished career.

He has, however, committed to another 12 months in Manchester and will be looking to help the Red Devils bring a five-year wait for major silverware to a close in 2022 - having already taken in FA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield and Europa League triumphs during his time with the club.

United are due to open their 2021-22 Premier League campaign with a home date against arch-rivals Leeds on August 14.

Further reading