Manchester United star Juan Mata has opened up on how his new contract came about and what he was thinking about at the time.
The experienced Spaniard appeared set to leave the club when his deal was almost up and there was no news on an extension.
The likes of Sergio Romero left when his contract ended and some fans felt Mata’s departure this summer was inevitable too.
However, his stay was extended and announced at the last minute, receiving mixed responses from supporters.
It’s understood the former Valencia man accepted a pay cut to stay and he’s no longer on the type of wages he was on when he first arrived as a star first-team player from Chelsea.
According to the club’s official website, Mata said: “No, to be honest, you have to think about it [contract renewal].
“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.”
The Peoples Person covered the announcement of Mata’s one-year extension and how the fans reacted to the new deal.
Some fans felt the versatile midfielder’s presence in the dressing room was enough to earn him his new deal, as it’s understood he’s well-loved and would be a needed experienced head to have around.
Others were confused by how much game time Mata really expects to get, particularly with the impending arrival of Jadon Sancho.
Nonetheless, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has his reasons for why he wanted his player to stay and time will tell whether or not it was the right call.