It had been widely reported earlier in the transfer window that Morata was United's first choice target to replace the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic but a dramatic volte-face earlier this month saw the Red Devils swoop for Romelu Lukaku from under Chelsea's noses.
"It's a shame he's not with us but he's a top striker and will do well wherever he plays".
Mata's words come less than 48 hours after manager Jose Mourinho all but admitted defeat in a move.
The German worldwide has become one of the best central midfielders in the world since joining Madrid from Bayern Munich in 2014, and Mourinho has made no secret of his admiration for the 27-year-old.More news: Pakistan Army chief 'analysing' Kulbhushan Jadhav's plea, decision at the 'earliest'
Mata is confident that he will not be going anywhere, however, stating: "I think De Gea will stay". "Things can happen in the last few days [of the transfer window] and I always wish Alvaro the best". I enjoyed seeing his growth at Juventus and Madrid.
Whilst Real Madrid accepted a two-year loan and relatively cheap departure for James Rodriguez, they are holding out for 80 million euros for Morata.
"Yes, we have had interest, that is obvious and it's public".
"I didn't negotiate, it was Mr [chief executive Ed] Woodward who negotiated with Romelu, his agent [Mino Raiola] and the Everton board, the only thing I did was to call him when the situation was nearly there just to guarantee him that he would be an important player in my team". Madrid made a decision and we didn't reach an agreement with them.
"The selling club is the one who puts the price on the player, the buying club doesn't".