After failing to turn up to catch his flight to join Manchester United on its preseason tour of the United States, it now seems all-but certain that Angel Di Maria will leave the club. Even at the Man United megastore, Di Maria player masks were placed on a discount rack, alongside the departed Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao. Although no deal has been confirmed as yet, a move to Paris Saint-Germain is believed to be imminent.
Reports in Spain and France have it that the two clubs have agreed upon a fee for the former Real Madrid man in the region of $70 million. Di Maria will reportedly sign a four-to-five year deal with the Ligue 1 champions. He could join up with them as early as this week, with some reports stating the 27-year-old is due to have his medical in New York, while PSG is on its own preseason American tour.
While United manager Louis van Gaal claimed he “does not know why” Di Maria failed to turn up in San Jose, on Monday the former Netherlands manager spoke to reporters about his desire for the Argentine to remain at Old Trafford:
“I think we still need more speed in front and also more creativity, and that is why I want Di Maria to stay, but, we don’t know that so we will have to see.” PSG coach Laurent Blanc meanwhile suggested that a deal was close to being done:
“There is a good possibility he could sign but there is nothing official. We have to have patience a little longer. The outcome is very close.”
Di Maria was among Real Madrid’s best players during its historic La Decima winning season in 2014. However a British transfer record-breaking move to Manchester United following last summer’s World Cup saw him fail to reach the same heights. A supremely talented wide man with blistering pace, Di Maria failed to nail down a regular place in van Gaal’s team. And now, despite paying over $60 million for him just 12 months ago, United appears to be ready to cut its losses.
At PSG Di Maria would be a certain starter. While the capital club possess two top-tier strikers in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani, neither of them are exactly what you’d call quick. Di Maria’s pace and ability to provide service from wide areas would bring a new dimension to PSG’s attack and could be the thing that transforms them from perennial Ligue 1 champions into true European contenders.