Manchester United record signing Juan Mata has revealed the key role goalkeeper David De Gea played in helping him complete his move to Old Trafford from Chelsea.
The Spaniard joined the club from Chelsea in a deal worth around £37 million as they look to rebuild after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson last year.
Mata, twice Chelsea's player of the season, was frozen out at Stamford Bridge by boss Jose Mourinho and opted to join the Red Devils before the World Cup in Brazil this summer.
The 25-year-old, speaking in an interview with Canal+ in Spain, said he was informed by Mourinho that an offer had arrived from Manchester United, and that De Gea was the man who finally convinced him to complete the move.
"I’ve known David (De Gea) since we played for the national team at youth level," he said.
"The week before I arrived, he was hassling me and when I arrived I stayed with him. Everyone has received me well, but he has been the one who has gone out of his way the most.
Later on in the interview De Gea, who joined Manchester United from Atletico Madrid, joined his friend and spoke about the role he played in luring him to Old Trafford.
After Mata urged him to "tell them about all the messages you have been sending me!", the goalkeeper said: "I’m sure you had to get a phone and everything was a bit crazy. But it’s good that you are here and we have gotten you here.
"He’s a great player that will help the team a lot and knowing him as a person, he will also help in the dressing room and help the whole team grow."
Manchester United currently sit in 7th in the Premier League but will put their domestic woes to one side next week when they take on Olympiakos in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Credit to CanTheyScore? for the translation of the Canal+ interview