LONDON: Manchester United have reached agreement with Chelsea for the transfer of Juan Mata for a club record £37M.
The Spain midfielder will have a medical, almost certainly on Saturday, and personal terms are also still to be agreed.
However, unless there are any hitches, Mata will make his debut in Tuesday’s Premier League match with Cardiff at Old Trafford.
United said in a statement: “”Manchester United is pleased to announce it has reached agreement with Chelsea Football Club for the transfer of Juan Mata for a club-record fee. The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms.”
Although manager David Moyes refused to discuss the 25-year-old after Wednesday’s League Cup semi-final loss to Sunderland, sources involved in the deal had confirmed it was close to being agreed.
The seal was put on the switch by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho when he spoke to the media on Friday lunchtime.
Mourinho said: “It’s what he wants. It’s what he asked us to accept. Chelsea Football Club is proud to act this way, in an open way, in a human way.
“The offer, compared with what the club paid two years ago (when Mata signed from Valencia), was fantastic.”
The £37m fee smashes United’s club record £30.75m paid for Dimitar Berbatov in 2008.
Mata, voted Chelsea’s player of the year for the past two seasons, had failed to win over Mourinho and ended up being squeezed out due to the form of Oscar and Eden Hazard.
Yet Mourinho insists the former Valencia man leaves with his best wishes.
He added: “We hope he does well. We are convinced he is going to do well. If Manchester United pay their record for a player it’s because they know exactly what they want. They are convinced he’s going to be important for them.
“In spite of probably many clubs, many boards and many managers think you can’t sell a top player to a rival club, especially not in the same country you play, we feel and we think differently.
“The player deserves respect, the player deserves to be happy and to play where he wants to play.”