Manchester United FC have broken their transfer record to sign Spanish international Juan Mata from Chelsea FC, with the 25-year-old understood to have agreed terms on a four-year deal.
"I'm 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'm excited at the chance to be part of the next phase in the club's history," said Mata. "Chelsea are a top club and I have many friends there but you cannot turn down the chance to join Manchester United."
A reported €44.6m fee brings Mata to Old Trafford, with the former Valencia CF playmaker taking the title of the Red Devils' most expensive purchase from 2008 recruit Dimitar Berbatov. The news comes as a boost to David Moyes's side, who currently lie seventh in the Premier League and have been knocked out of both domestic cup competitions.
After beginning his career at Real Madrid CF, for whom he did not make a first-team appearance, attacking midfielder Mata made his name with Valencia, lifting the Copa del Rey in 2008 and scoring 33 goals in 129 Liga games.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2012 winner moved to Chelsea in a €30m deal in August 2011, helping the west London club to UEFA Champions League and FA Cup glory in his first season and then the UEFA Europa League title last term.
Mata, who failed to score in 13 top-flight outings for Chelsea in this 2013/14 campaign, links up with a United team who face Olympiacos FC in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, with the first leg in Piraeus on 25 February.
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