Man Utd CONFIRM Juan Mata free transfer exit with gushing tribute to popular Spanish star after eight years

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MANCHESTER UNITED have confirmed Juan Mata’s exit after eight-and-a-half years at Old Trafford.

The popular Spaniard departs the Red Devils having made 285 appearances for the club since joining from Chelsea in January 2014.

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Juan Mata has left Man Utd after more than eight yearsCredit: PA

Mata, 34, follows Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard in leaving on a free transfer.

In a tribute to the departing attacking midfielder, Man United wrote: “His team-mates and members of staff never tired of praising his professional attitude and positivity.”

Team-mate Victor Lindelof said of Mata earlier this year: “As a player, the quality Juan has is amazing.

“His vision, his touch and his ability to see everything on the pitch are fantastic.

“As a person, he’s always happy and always positive. He’s just a great guy.”

Despite his advancing years, Mata is unlikely to retire this summer.

He said in April: “I still have a lot of passion and a lot of will to keep enjoying football.

“This is a dream come true to be a professional football player so I want to play as much as I can.”

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