Soccer-Man Utd sign keeper Heaton on free transfer, extend Mata deal to 2022

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Europa League Final - Villarreal v Manchester United

(Reuters) -Manchester United have re-signed goalkeeper Tom Heaton on a two-year deal until June 2023 with an option for a further year, while Spanish midfielder Juan Mata has signed a one-year contract, the Premier League club said on Friday.

Heaton, a United academy product, moved on a free transfer after his contract at Aston Villa expired at the end of last season in May. The 35-year-old is expected to be a backup to David De Gea and Dean Henderson.

"For me to have the opportunity to come back after spending 13 great years here as a kid, it's an incredible feeling and I'm really, really excited to get started," Heaton, who also played for Burnley in the Premier Leauge, said.

Mata's previous contract expired at the end of June. The 33-year-old found minutes hard to come by last season with competition for places from Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Donny van Beek, making only 18 appearances in all competitions.

"The World Cup winner's influence on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's young, improving squad is invaluable and the manager continues to be a huge supporter of the fleet-footed Spaniard," the club said in a statement.

United finished second in the league last season behind Manchester City, and they begin the new campaign with a home game against Leeds United on Aug. 14.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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