If there were any concerns that this football transfer window would fail to deliver, they were cast aside in a single tweet by @ManUtd.
On Saturday, the defending @PremierLeague champions broke world exclusive news on Twitter that they had agreed a club record £37.1m deal with @ChelseaFC over the transfer of playmaker @juanmata8:
CONFIRMED: #mufc has reached agreement with Chelsea for the transfer of Juan Mata for a club-record fee. #mufcmata pic.twitter.com/tNRGRhUdPS— Manchester United ( @ManUtd) January 24, 2014
The reaction on Twitter to the Mata deal was instant, with more than 60,000 retweets and favourites of that original announcement. In fact, there have been more than 4.5m mentions of Mata on Twitter in the last week alone. To put that figure into perspective, over the course of the 2013 summer window, Gareth Bale’s world-record transfer to Real Madrid amassed 8.4m mentions on Twitter, followed by Mesut Ozil with 4.3m mentions.
Mata’s new @ManUtd teammates played their part in this reaction, with first team stars such as @WayneRooney & Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) wasting no time in extending a warm welcome via Twitter. Robin Van Persie (@Persie_Official) was quickest on the uptake though, expressing his excitement at linking up with Mata for the first time at Old Trafford on Tuesday night:
Mata took the opportunity to pay his respect to Chelsea Football Club on Twitter, before confirming his move with a photo of him clutching the famous red kit, flanked by new manager David Moyes:
THANK YOU GRACIAS @ChelseaFC for everything during all these years . GRACIAS @ChelseaFC por todo durante estos años http://t.co/lfoMjjiNX6— Juan Mata García ( @juanmata8) January 25, 2014
I can confirm that I’m a new player of @ManUtd. Os confirmo que ya soy nuevo jugador del @ManUtd_Es pic.twitter.com/Jhu1iW8GIU— Juan Mata García ( @juanmata8) January 25, 2014
Chelsea echoed the sentiment of goodwill, wishing the departing Mata the best of luck:
Thank you @juanmata10 and good luck for the future. #CFC pic.twitter.com/9dQrsNMpmt— Chelsea FC ( @chelseafc) January 25, 2014
@ManUtd continued to use Twitter as a way of breaking news first to fans, confirming prior to Monday’s press conference that Mata would wear the number 8 shirt:
BREAKING: @JuanMata10 will wear the no.8 shirt for Manchester United. #mufcmata pic.twitter.com/Isblh1HqXO— Manchester United ( @ManUtd) January 27, 2014
Juan Mata the new #MUFC no 8 pic.twitter.com/wwqC8mrYaJ— Ben Smith ( @BenSmithBBC) January 27, 2014
They even teased fans with this Vine video of the first shirt printing:
The Mata deal may have reached its conclusion, but the interest will continue to heighten over the next few days as the last-minute scramble to secure signings that will shape the rest of the season - and Twitter is the place to follow that conversation. Twitter has become the official channel for clubs and players to break definitive news, amid intense rumour and speculation, and is an essential source for fans.
The January transfer window slams shut at 23:00 GMT on January 31. Follow the hashtag #deadlineday to keep across all latest news as it breaks first on Twitter, and you can see a list of all 20 @PremierLeague clubs on Twitter here.