Chelsea Spanish international playmaker Juan Mata tonight signed for Manchester United in a club record deal worth £37.1m after a much delayed medical.
The fee eclipses the £30.75m paid for Dimitar Berbatov on September 1 2008.
Mata had played 135 times for Chelsea, scoring 32 times for the Stamford Bridge outfit, and was voted player of the season in each of his two full seasons with the club.
Mata said: “I am thrilled to be joining United. I have enjoyed some very happy years at Chelsea but the time has come for a new challenge. United is the perfect place for me and I am excited at the chance I have to be part of the next phase in the club’s history.
“Chelsea is a top club and I have many friends there but you cannot turn down the chance to join Manchester United. I look forward to helping the manager and the team be successful in the coming years.”
United’s iconic number 7 shirt is currently vacant along with 8 and 9 while Wayne Rooney wears the number 10 shirt that Mata wore at Chelsea although there has been no indication from the management about which shirt the Spaniard will select.
Rooney, who as 18 months remaining on his current Old Trafford deal, is reported to have started talks over a possible contract extension since news of Mata’s transfer become more evident.