sport

Clubs confirm Mata agreement

Manchester United and Chelsea have confirmed they have reached agreement over the transfer of Juan Mata.

The Spanish star still has to agree personal terms and pass his medical, but both clubs confirmed on Friday night that the move has taken a big step forward.

United confirmed on their Twitter feed: "MUFC has reached agreement with Chelsea for the transfer of Juan Mata for a club record fee.

"The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms. A further announcement will be made in due course."

And Chelsea confirmed: "Chelsea Football Club has reached an agreement with Manchester United for the transfer of Juan Mata. The move is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms."

United will reportedly hand over 37m for Mata, far exceeding their previous club record of 30.75m they spent on Dimitar Berbatov in 2008.

The fee also represents a hefty profit for Chelsea on a player they signed for 23.5m from Valencia in 2011.

Speaking at his Friday afternoon press conference Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho wished Mata well.

He said: "He's a fantastic player and despite not playing a lot for us in the last period could be a very important player for us. But Juan had this fantastic opportunity for him.

"It's what he wants. It's what he asked us to accept. Chelsea Football Club is proud to act this way, in an open way, in a human way."

Mata was named Chelsea's player of the year in each of the past two seasons but has been reduced to a bit-part role since Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge.

"The offer we've received we feel is the right offer for the quality of the player," Mourinho said. "It's a good move for Juan, it's a good move for the Premier League and the offer is the right offer. He was fantastic for Chelsea, and Chelsea were fantastic for him."

Responding to criticism of the sale from some supporters, he said: "If the fans are sad that Juan is leaving, I will say that we are also sad. No one is jumping around the place."

Salah medical

Mata's replacement in the Chelsea squad will be Mohamed Salah, subject to a successful medical.

Salah has agreed personal terms, but Mourinho explained that he will have to have his medical - the last step in the deal to sign him from Basel - in Switzerland.

"He's a non-EC player. He cannot come to England for his medical, so we have to travel to meet him and to have the medical, probably in Switzerland. Only after that can we do the paperwork to bring him to the country," said Mourinho, who is excited by the signing.

"I like the fact that he can play the same way our attacking players do, which is players with adaptability, to play right, left, or behind the striker.

"He's young, he's fast, he's creative, he's enthusiastic. When we analysed him he looks the kind of humble personality on the pitch, ready to work for the team and to work and to adapt himself to a new life.

"We believe if he comes that he will have a similar process to the Willian one. Willian needed two or three months to grow up and to feel comfortable playing for us (following his August signing from Anzhi Makhachkala).

"We think with him and (Andre) Schurrle, (Eden) Hazard, Oscar and Willian we will be fine.

"We lose an experienced top player like Juan, but we bring in a young player with great potential.

"Willian did that transition from his previous world to the top world of football. Hopefully, if Salah comes, he can do the same. We are ready to help, we are ready to support.

"He has some experience in Europe, the Europa League, Champions League, so he's not a naive boy arriving in the jungle.

"Hopefully he comes and hopefully with the talented players we have around in the same positions we all can develop together."