Former Manchester United and Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata has completed a one-year deal to Turkish giants Galatasaray.
The midfielder left Old Trafford in the summer window after eight-and-a-half years at the club, but United wanted to keep hold of the Spaniard and ease him into an administrative role at the club.
The Red Devils were prepared to offer Mata one more playing contract but he rejected the contract as he wanted to play regularly.
Despite his move to Turkey, Manchester United are reportedly hopeful Mata could return to the club in the future and believe he has potential as a technical director when he retires.
Expressing his delight after joining the Turkish club, Mata said:”I feel so good. I am excited and very motivated,” he said. “I’m grateful for being here. Everyone is being very friendly. I can’t wait to win with Galatasaray.
“Everyone told me what a nice atmosphere this place has. I’m waiting for the moment when I will experience this. I can’t wait to fight in front of our fans. Galatasaray is the team with the greatest success in Turkey. It is also a club that has a place in the history of football. Thank you everyone for the warm welcome.”
Mata joined United for a then-club record £37.1million from Chelsea in January 2014 and started in their three cup final victories in the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League in 2016 and 2017. At Chelsea he won the Champions League, FA Cup and Europa League.
The Spaniard played 285 times and scored 51 goals while at Manchester United.