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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Feb 18, 2014

Mata: United can compete for top stars

Wayne Rooney may give Manchester United a boost by signing a new long-term contract at Old Trafford.

Juan Mata has told Canal Plus that Manchester United will always be able to compete for the world’s best players despite their Champions League qualification hopes hanging in the balance.

Juan Mata rues a missed opportunity.
Juan Mata believes David Moyes will make top signings this summer to rebuild the Red Devils.

• Okwonga: Rooney deal

The reigning Premier League champions have had a disastrous domestic campaign under new manager David Moyes and trail fourth-placed Liverpool by 11 points after 26 games.

Mata moved from Chelsea to Old Trafford in January for a club-record 37.1 million pounds, and states that while United are in a “state of change” after the departure of long-serving manager Sir Alex Ferguson , the club will have no problems signing top talent in the future.

“I don't know what will happen in the summer but the manager [Moyes] said the other day at a press conference that he's going to be signing players,” the Daily Mail reported Mata as saying.

“I think this club is at a stage of change, but I can tell you that the best players in the world will always arrive.”

The Spain star also admitted that United’s hopes of defending their 2012-13 league title are all but gone as they languish 15 points behind leaders Chelsea -- and their immediate concern must be qualifying for the Champions League.

 “The objective is to get to the Champions League spots,” he continued. “It's difficult because Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton are playing well and fighting for the top four, but I think we have a team who can do it."

Mata also backed under-fire boss Moyes by suggesting it is impossible for anybody to live up to predecessor Ferguson’s trophy-laden Old Trafford record, and challenged his new teammates to improve results.

“Everything Ferguson has accomplished is pretty much unattainable. He has won everything possible to win with this club in the last 20-25 years and it's tough to maintain such a level of excellence.

“But at the end of the day, it was these players that won the league last season and the new manager has arrived knowing what this club is.

“I think he has a great relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson and with time everything will get better, the results will get better and we'll get back to being where this club deserves to be.

“My relationship with [Moyes] is good, friendly and from the off, he seemed to me to be a great person.”

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