Juan Mata reacts to signing new contract
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata is looking forward to the new season, after signing a new one-year contract with the club last week.
The Spaniard will embark on a ninth Reds campaign since joining from Chelsea in 2014, with the fresh deal keeping him here until June 2022.
Mata has scored 51 goals in 273 games for United and is already targeting trophies to add to the Europa League, FA Cup and EFL Cup titles he has won in Manchester to date.
“Yeah, I feel really happy and excited and fresh and energised for a new season,” Juan told club media.
“I didn’t know that it was the ninth [season] already, but time flies. Of course I’ve lived many good moments at this club, other difficult ones, but yes, I’m staying and I’m very much looking forward for what I hope will be a good season for the team and for myself.”
The 32-year-old was officially a free agent for a brief time after the expiration of his last deal and admits he received offers from other clubs.
However, he says he feels he has unfinished business at United and didn’t want to depart after a tough 2020/21 for him personally.
“No, to be honest, you have to think about it,” said Juan when asked if the decision was a no-brainer.
“Of course, because I was a free agent at the end of my contract and, as is normal in the football world, you receive some calls from different clubs and think about maybe potential new stages in your career but, on the other hand, the feeling of being at this club and especially because of how last season went, probably the most difficult season in my life, it didn’t feel natural to me to leave that way.
“Of course, also I’m staying because I still believe I can give so much to the team and I think the club believes the same.
“I’m very, very hopeful and excited to still win trophies here. It’s very special to be a player at this club and it’s even more special to win trophies and that’s why I’m here and all the players are here.”
Mata’s team-mates, including Bruno Fernandes, Harry Maguire and David De Gea rushed to congratulate him on social media after the announcement was made, which speaks volumes about how he is viewed within the club.
“Yeah, it’s always nice to feel loved," he admitted.
“I think every one of us likes to feel respected and loved wherever we are and, to be honest, I have great relationships in the dressing room with all of the players and have become friends with many people here, so I feel at home at the club.
“After so many years, I feel at home here and privileged to represent this club.”
Thursday marked Juan’s return to Carrington after the summer break and he’s so eager to get back to work as United look forward to hopefully playing in front of a full house at Old Trafford once again.
“Right now, I’m very excited to come back to training for the first day.
“I’m feeling fresh, mentally and physically, and energised for hopefully a long season ahead and again a season with fans, with Old Trafford supporting us, which is also something we’ve missed over the last couple of months. So I’m very excited.”