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United reach agreement with Chelsea for Mata

ESPN staff
January 24, 2014 « Yarnold crowned skeleton World Cup champion | Chartbeat test »
Juan Mata joins Manchester United for a club-record fee © AP
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Manchester United have announced they have agreed a club record fee with Chelsea to sign Juan Mata.

Mata has to agree personal terms and pass a medical before he can become David Moyes' first January buy.

The deal is also expected to be delayed until Chelsea have completed the signing of Mohamed Salah from Basel, who is also wanted by Liverpool, as a replacement.

Mata is expected to cost United around £37 million, giving Chelsea, who signed him from Valencia in 2011 for £23m, a profit of £13.5m.

It would comfortably eclipse the highest price United have paid to date, which was the £30.75m they spent on Dimitar Berbatov in 2009.

Assuming there are no complications, Mata could make his United debut against Cardiff at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

United moved for the World Cup winner earlier this week and it had been expected that Mata would have a medical in Manchester on Thursday or Friday before Chelsea's wish to bring in another creative player brought a hold-up.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has also sold winger Kevin de Bruyne and signed midfielder Nemanja Matic in this transfer window.

Moyes, who has scouted plenty of players across Europe in recent weeks with a particular focus on central midfielders, has only made one major signing so far, when he brought in Marouane Fellaini from his former club Everton for £27.5m on the final day of the summer transfer window.

Mata scored 20 goals for Chelsea last season but has only made 11 league starts in the current campaign and has not featured since the 3-0 win over Southampton on New Year's Day. He has scored 33 goals in 133 games for Chelsea in all competitions.

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