One of Manchester United’s best players this season rejected the chance of a big money move to China.
Juan Mata’s representatives were approached by intermediaries about a switch to the Chinese Super League, in a deal which would have seen his current £165,000 a week wages substantially increased. However, the Spanish international, who is out of contract at the end of the season, has rejected the offer in favour of a new deal with United, for whom he has made 155 appearances and scored 37 goals.
Mata and manager Jose Mourinho have not always enjoyed the best of relationships. It was Mourinho who sold Mata when he was at Chelsea, despite the player twice being named the club’s Player of the Year, because his style did not fit the type of football the Portuguese manager wanted to play. Many outsiders were convinced that Mata would be out of the door at Old Trafford as well once Mourinho took up the reins there. However, Mata has adapted his style to fit the needs of the team, and Mourinho now regards him as an essential member of his squad, as United challenge for honours on four fronts this season.
Andy is an exiled English football fan living in Cyprus. He loves all sports but football is his abiding passion, and he still has dreams every now and then about scoring the winning goal in a Wembley Cup Final, even though his playing days are long gone. He follows most major leagues, across Europe at least, and has a favoured team in each. When he’s not watching, listening, reading or downloading podcasts about football, he spend his time worrying about his beloved Arsenal.