Manchester United have taken up their option to extend midfield Juan Mata's contract by a further year, keeping the player at the club until June 2019.
United made the news official late on Tuesday evening ahead of the midweek clash at Wembley with Tottenham, and the move had put to rest some rumors that the Spanish international could be leaving Old Trafford at the end of the current campaign.
Mata arrived from Chelsea in January 2014 and has become a fan favorite at United, scoring 39 goals for the club in 172 appearances to date. Mata has lifted the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League during his stint, and was delighted to extend his stay.
Speaking to MUTV, he said: “I still feel very happy and very proud to be part of this club. I think everyone that belongs to Manchester United should feel privileged, and that’s how I feel.
“I’m happy with everyone at the club and, obviously, with the manager and my teammates. Once you are part of this club, your football career is not the same; it changes, because this is one of the biggest clubs in football history.
"Every day I try to tell myself how lucky and how privileged I am, try to take advantage of every single training session, and try to see how important it is to be a Manchester United player.
“We have had so many new players during my four years, but now we know each other and understand each other better. We are creating a kind of stability that I believe is needed to build and to create a positive consistency in terms of getting results and getting trophies.”
Manager Jose Mourinho added: “Mata is very important. When I arrived one-and-a-half years ago, [they said], ‘Mata is in trouble, in trouble, in trouble’, and now he's getting an extension of one more year. An important player for me; important player for the club; important player for the other players."