Juan Mata reveals the reason he was desperate to stay at Manchester United

Juan Mata

Juan Mata says he signed a new Manchester United contract because he wants to help the club get "back to where it belongs".

Mata, who joined United from Chelsea (opens in new tab) in January 2014, penned a new two-year deal at Old Trafford this summer.

The Spanish playmaker reportedly rejected a lucrative offer from the Chinese Super League to extend his stay in Manchester.

And Mata has revealed that he did not want to walk away from United despite doubts over whether he would be a regular starter under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.

“I wanted to stay here because I would not forgive myself to leave with a feeling of ‘yeah, but… what?’ I didn’t want that," he told the Telegraph (opens in new tab)

"You know, it has been a challenging time. But I'm quite proud of my mentality. It’s been difficult in some moments not playing, out of the team, the team not doing great, of critics, for everyone. It would have been easier for me to give up and say ‘I’s true that I came to this club in a difficult moment and it’s not meant to be. Bye’.

“No, I’m proud of saying ‘I want to make it happen, I want to fight for big trophies, I want to be here when we win’. And I want to be here when we bring this club back to where it belongs.”

Mata has made 220 appearances for United during his five-and-a-half years at the club, winning an FA Cup, a League Cup and the Europa League.


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Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).