Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has revealed the reason behind his decision to stay at the Theatre of Dreams for an extra two years.
As per the Daily Mirror, Mata’s previous deal at Old Trafford was due to expire at the end of June and a number of top European clubs were thought to be keen on securing his services on a free transfer.
However, the 31-year-old star ultimately decided to put pen to paper on a new two-year contract, which will see him remain in Manchester until 2021.
The Spaniard has featured in all three of United’s Premier League fixtures at the start of the new season, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side picking up four points in total after a win against Chelsea, a draw at Wolves and a shock home defeat to Crystal Palace.
Mata has now explained why he signed an Old Trafford extension, conceding that “it would have been easier to leave” a club stuck in a difficult transitional period.
Referencing his interview with the Telegraph‘s Jason Burt last week, the experienced playmaker wrote in his latest blog entry: “I told him that given the situation it perhaps would have been easier to leave, to accept that I did not arrive at Manchester United at the best point in their history and not renew.
“However, I believed, and still believe, that it was worthwhile to stay, to work so that this club returns to fighting for big trophies.
“I want to be here, working so that Manchester United can get back to what it used to be.
“This is my mentality and the idea I have in mind. I feel that this was also the mentality of the people who made this great club what it is, and that is why it is so unique and special.”
The Red Devils are now preparing for a crucial trip to Southampton on Saturday, before the season’s first international break comes into effect.
Mata could be in line to make his first start of the campaign, with the pressure building on Solskjaer after last weekend’s upset against Palace.
The Spain international is the only orthodox creative midfielder on United’s books at the moment and his presence could be key to their chances of securing a spot in the Premier League’s top four.