Reports in the English media today suggest that Manchester United star Juan Mata agreed to take a sizable cut in his wages before penning a new deal earlier this week.
Attacking-midfielder Mata, now 31, has been on the books of United since January of 2014, when he made the surprise move to Old Trafford from Chelsea for a then club-record fee of just over £37 million.
The Spaniard subsequently went on to enjoy a productive start to life at Old Trafford, with Mata having racked up 6 goals and 4 assists across 15 Premier League appearances over the second-half of the 2013/14 campaign.
The seasons that followed, meanwhile, saw the former Valencia man prove an integral, if often underappreciated member of United’s midfield.
The last couple of campaigns, though, have seen Mata’s game-time begin to dwindle.
This past season, the 41-time capped international managed starts in just 16 of United’s 38 Premier League outings.
United exit links
As such, with the gifted midfielder’s United contract having been due to expire at the end of this month, a number of clubs had long been rumoured to be eyeing Mata’s signature on a free transfer this summer.
The likes of PSG, Juventus, Barcelona and even Arsenal were all named as suitors of the veteran.
Protracted negotiations between Mata and the board at Old Trafford, meanwhile, had proven unfruitful for the last 18 months.
Mata staying put
However, a breakthrough in talks arose almost out of the blue earlier this week, eventually resulting in Mata putting pen-to-paper on a new contract at Old Trafford.
The deal is set to keep the Spaniard in Manchester until 2021, with an option for a further year:
We can confirm Juan Mata has signed a new contract with #MUFC.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) June 19, 2019
Because the feeling of being a @ManUtd player is something very special. Unique. I’m really proud to sign a new contract and keep trying my best to bring the club back where it belongs. 🔴⚪⚫🙏🏼❤ #MUFC pic.twitter.com/9IORMF73EU
— Juan Mata García (@juanmata8) June 19, 2019
The Sun, meanwhile, this afternoon provided an insight into what exactly looks to have broken the impasse between United and Mata during contract negotiations.
It is claimed that the midfielder agreed to see his wages slashed from £180,000-per-week as part of his previous deal to £135,000-per-week on his new contract.
This represents a considerable drop of £45,000-a-week.
United’s surprising decision to hand Mata a potential 3-year deal likely also played a key role in an agreement eventually being found.