Former Manchester United star Juan Mata has made his exit from Turkish side Galatasaray after one season and completed a free transfer to a new club.

Mata left Old Trafford after his contract expired in the summer of 2022 and made his move to Galatasaray on a one-year deal, with an option to extend for another year.

The 35-year-old Spanish midfielder made 18 appearances across all competitions for the Super Lig outfit and scored three times and registered two assists for the club.

Mata struggled for regular first-team minutes at Galatasaray last season and his run in Turkey came to an end on 1st July.

READ MORE: Erik ten Hag details Manchester United’s biggest problem of the season so far

Galatasaray v Hatayspor - Super Lig
Photo by BSR Agency/Getty Images

Mata is off to Japan

According to transfer news expert Fabrizio Romano, ex-Valencia and Galatasaray man Mata has now completed his move to Japanese side Vissel Kobe.

The former Chelsea player follows in the same footsteps of ex-Spain teammate Andres Iniesta, who signed for Vissel Kobe after leaving Barcelona in 2018.

Iniesta, who previously served as Vissel Kobe’s captain, left the J1 League club in the summer and signed for UAE Pro League side Emirates.

Mata, who made 285 appearances for United in his eight years at the club, arrives at Vissel Kobe having lifted the Turkish league title with Galatasaray last season.

Posting on Instagram, Mata said: “New beginnings!

“Thanks for the incredible welcome, Japan! I’m here! I’ve always been a big admirer of this country and its culture, and now it’s time to enjoy it here in Kobe.

“Grateful to everyone that made it possible. I will try my best to try to win another league title, we are in the race!

“Thank you football for allowing me to live such amazing life experiences!”

Galatasaray bids farewell to Mata

Galatasaray thanked Mata for his contributions to their club after the Vissel Kobe player became a free agent at the end of the season.

“Thank you, Mata, for your efforts and contributions with the Galatasaray jersey!” Galatasaray tweeted in July.

“We wish you success in your future career, Professor!”

Mata first arrived at Old Trafford in January 2014 after former United manager David Moyes signed him from Premier League side Chelsea for £37.1m.

The former Spain international enjoyed success at United and lifted a Europa League, an FA Cup and a League Cup before his departure from Old Trafford.

A Champions League winner with Chelsea, Mata also captured silverware in his international career by lifting a European Championship and a World Cup with Spain.

Related Topics