Juan Mata
Mata joins United amid much fanfareReuters

Manchester United players have reacted with palpable relief after the club confirmed the capture of record signing Juan Mata from Chelsea.

United lie 14 points behind league leaders Arsenal and trail Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton in the race for the fourth Champions League spot. They are already out of the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup.

Mata's job will be to inspire an about-turn in United's fortunes this season and David Moyes's squad have wasted little time welcoming the Spanish international to Old Trafford.

International compatriot David de Gea wrote on Twitter:

Contributing to United's problems of late has been the loss of Robin van Persie, last season's top scorer, and despite news that the Dutchman has returned to training the former Arsenal-hitman is under pressure to return to form.

The signing of Mata may force a re-think over forcing van Persie's return, and the 30-year-old said on Twitter:

Amid the penalty shoot-out defeat to Sunderland, United lost Michael Carrick to injury and though the England international's prognosis is still to be revealed, his absence comes as another blow to the champions.

Naturally, Carrick has welcomed the addition of Mata from Chelsea:

Finally, Rio Ferdinand, who is expected to leave United at the end of the season when his contract expires, said:

Former United player Paddy Crerand told MUTV: "He was a great player for Spain's Under-21s, going back four years, and he's been Chelsea's Player of the Year for the last two years. The problem Chelsea had, and it's one of the reasons they sold him, is that Jose Mourinho has got so many midfielders.

"The players will look around the dressing room and think there's another player challenging for their position – he has the ability to play in a few. That will be a little kick up the backside for one or two who will need to do a little bit more to stay in the team.

"More importantly, it's a big lift to the fans and it proves something to a few of them. I think some of the fans think people at the club wear blindfolds over their eyes and that they don't see or hear things. The club know exactly what the problem is and they're trying to address things."