• Premier League

Mata: Mourinho told me to join United

ESPN staff
February 18, 2014
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Juan Mata has revealed that Jose Mourinho advised him to join Manchester United and it was in his best interests to sign for the Premier League champions.

The Spain international became United's £37.1 million club record buy in January when he left Chelsea to sign for David Moyes' team.

And Mata, a World Cup winner who had been Chelsea's player of the year in both of his seasons at Stamford Bridge before Mourinho returned as manager, said the Portuguese gave his blessing to the move.

Speaking to Canal Plus, he said: "We spoke and [Mourinho] said that he thought this was a good option for me, and I told him I thought this was a good option for me."

Mata lost his place in the Chelsea side under Mourinho and added: "I wasn't playing, and to be honest, I am happy when I play football. It's the thing I like to do the most. He wished me good luck and told me to be good, as did everyone at the club. I'm very grateful for my time at Chelsea and for all the trophies I have won."

Mata has played four games for United, winning only once, and they are only seventh in the Premier League.

But he said: "This is a club that should always be fighting for the Premier League. I think, in the last 20 or 21 years, they have won 13 times. The mentality of this club is to win and fight for all the trophies.

"Unfortunately this year, things haven't gone so well in the league, but I believe there is still time this season. With the mentality and the staff that we have, I believe we can climb up the table and win as many games as possible."

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