Juan Mata has confirmed for the first time that he plans to return to Spain when his time at Manchester United comes to a close.
The Spain playmaker was expected to leave last summer when Jose Mourinho was appointed as manager, but Mata has silenced the doubters and become a firm fixture under the Portuguese coach this season.
Although the former Chelsea star – who is now in his seventh season in the Premier League – admits he is happy at Old Trafford, Mata admits he does harbour ambitions to return to La Liga before his playing days end.
“I don’t know what will happen,” the 28-year-old said.
“I’ve been asked before, and I don’t know. I’ve been here six years, and I am happy in England.
“But I love Spain still and always follow La Liga from here. I would like to play again back at home.”
Mata has featured in 30 matches this season, scoring an impressive eight times, with his overall record at Old Trafford reading 34 goals in 134 appearances since his arrival at the club in a £37.5m deal from Chelsea in January 2014.