Manchester United signed Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata for a club record 37.1 million pounds ($61.2 million) as the English soccer champion strives to boost an injury-hit attack and revive its faltering season.
The announcement of the signing of Mata, a 25-year-old who has played 25 times for Spain, was made on United’s website late yesterday.
Twenty-time English league champion United, under new manager David Moyes, lost on penalties to Sunderland last week in the semifinals of the League Cup. It’s also out of the F.A. Cup and is in seventh place in the league, 14 points behind leader Arsenal.
“I have been impressed with the excitement he has shown to be part of the new Manchester United,” Moyes said in the statement. “I know our fans have admired Juan for some time now -– he has always played well against us -– and I know they will be delighted to see him in the red of United.”
Moyes succeeded Alex Ferguson, winner of 13 Premier League titles, after last season. His team’s attacking power in this campaign has been hampered by injuries to Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.
Mata joined the Blues from Valencia in 2011. He helped the London team win the Champions League and F.A. Cup in his first season, and the Europa League in his second. He established himself as a favorite with Chelsea fans and was twice voted player of the year.
Mata fell out of favor with Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese coach rejoined the team last year and he’s been surrounded by transfer speculation for months.