JUAN Mata is expected to complete his club record £37 million move to Manchester United today.
Although it was widely assumed the Chelsea midfielder would head north for a medical yesterday, Mata was forced to wait for the final details to be thrashed out between the clubs.
United officials remained relaxed about the situation, giving no indication that there had been any last-minute hitch that could delay the move. And, although some Manchester City fans have suggested Mata aborted his journey in the wake of United’s shattering Capital One Cup semi-final exit to Sunderland, it is widely assumed the formalities will be concluded today.
That would allow the 25-year-old to train with his new team-mates over the weekend, before being presented to the media next week, possibly ahead of what seems certain to be his debut against Cardiff at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
While Mata is all set to leave, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho yesterday made his third signing of the transfer window when he secured Mohamed Salah from Basel for a fee in the region of £11m.
A Chelsea statement read: “Chelsea FC can confirm an agreement has been reached with FC Basel for the transfer of their 21-year-old attacking midfielder Mohamed Salah.
“The move is subject to the Egyptian international agreeing personal terms and completing a medical examination.”
Provided the finer details of the move are confirmed swiftly, Salah could make his debut in Sunday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at home to Stoke. He follows Bertrand Traore and Nemanja Matic to Stamford Bridge this month in moves funded by the sale of Kevin De Bruyne and the imminent departure of fans’ favourite Mata.
Salah, also being courted by Liverpool, scored in three of Basel’s four recent meetings with Chelsea: a goal in each of this season’s Group E Champions League wins and also netting in the second leg of last term’s Europa League semi-final.