Juan Mata is set to make his Manchester United debut against Cardiff City on Tuesday evening, David Moyes has confirmed.
The winger completed his much anticipated move to the current Champions on Saturday, after Chelsea agreed a £37.1 million deal for the Spaniard.
Mata has not played a competative game since the New Year’s Day win away at Southampton, after recently falling out of favour under Mourinho at the Bridge.
Manchester United manager Moyes believes Mata will be able to face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team and plans to give him his United bow at the first possible opportunity.
Moyes told MUTV: “Juan’s not too far away from [full] fitness. I know he has missed a few games and maybe not started quite as many games as he’d have liked, but I’d like to get him involved against Cardiff.”
Mata scored on his last appearance at Old Trafford in May when he earned Chelsea a 1-0 victory and became the last player to get a winner against Sir Alex Ferguson’s United.
Mata leaves the Bridge after two years at the club, with the former Valencia winger winning the oplayer of the year at the club for the last two seasons.
However, in order to gain a place in Del Bosque’s World Cup squad, Mata needs regular first team football, at a competative level.
He last appeared on the bench when he was an unused substitute for Chelsea as they beat United 3-1 last Sunday.
Mata was delighted with the move, as he stated…..
‘It’s a very happy day for me, meeting my team-mates, the manager, seeing the training ground. It’s a massive club and I feel very proud to be here.
‘When I heard of United’s interest I thought, “Wow!”
‘For a player like me, who is trying to score goals, assist goals and be a creative player, it’s going to be amazing to play with Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Adnan, Valencia, Chicharito, Welbeck … they are all top-level players.’
Moyes said: ‘I never felt we would get this opportunity (to sign Mata) because I wasn’t sure that Chelsea would ever sell him to us.
‘I’m a bit surprised because it’s not something that tends to happen, especially between Premier League teams.
‘We’ve got a really exciting player. We’ve lacked a bit of creativity and imagination in the final third of the pitch and I really hope Juan can deliver quickly.
Mourinho revealed that the Mata deal was made possible, through the completed transfer of Mohammed Salah from FC Basel.
The United boss also stated that there would be more fresh blood in, with Atletico Madrid duo Diego Costa and Felipe Luis possible targets in the January window.
Moyes has also revealed he is keen to capture Southampton fullback Luke Shaw, with a deal most likely in the summer, Moyes has also made a bid for Newcastle United central midfielder Yohan Cabaye, which has been turned down.
The Scot stated……
‘I don’t think we’ll have any more in January,’ added Moyes. ‘I’m still working on it and looking to do things. We know exactly what we’d like to do and if it changes in the last week then we’ll try.
‘I hope this will be the first of some new signings that will arrive, but more likely in the summer.’
By Ben Reardon