Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata has told friends he's joining Manchester United. The London Evening Standard says Mata did not train with the west London side and told friends that he was destined for Old Trafford.

The Premier League champions maintained throughout the day that there had been no bid from them for the 25-year-old Spanish international, though that was understood to be of no significance, since the club are understood to have had intermediaries working to drive home the deal.

The transfer is expected to be concluded in the next 24 hours, lifting spirits around Old Trafford after last night's Capital One Cup defeat to Sunderland.

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