Manchester United transfer news: Is Angel Di Maria really worth £59.7m?
The Argentina winger becomes the most expensive player ever bought by a British club
The willingness of Manchester United to break the British transfer record gives a very clear indication of just how concerned the club have become about where they're heading.
Read more: Di Maria - latest news
Di Maria profile
With the current squad looking distinctly average, the spending of huge sums of money in itself is perhaps not unwise. But is £59.7m for Angel Di Maria too much? Have Real Madrid simply taken advantage of United's desperation?
Read more: United want Vidal for £34m
Role reversal between United and City
Di Maria once sold for 35 footballs - now it's £60m
Should the deal go through, it will smash the current British record of £50m paid by Chelsea to Liverpool for Fernando Torres. Manchester United have themselves broken the record in the past, with the signing of Rio Ferdinand in 2002 for £29.1m then the largest sum ever forked out by a British club.
On the global scale, the sum of £59.7m will make Di Maria the fifth most expensive signing in history. Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez and Luis Suarez are the only other players to command more.
Video: The latest transfer news
The major difference between those players and Di Maria is perhaps the goals those players promise. Bale scored 22 in his first season at the Bernabeu whilst his team-mate Ronaldo is a goal machine that has scored in excess of 50 in all competitions for the last four seasons. Rodriguez left Brazil with the golden boot award at the World Cup whilst Luis Suarez was the top scorer in the Premier League last season with 31.
In comparison, Di Maria failed to reach double figures in La Liga in the four years he spent at Real Madrid. Last season he scored just four in 34 appearances. In the Champions League he notched a total of eight during his time at the Bernabeu. Manchester United are not signing a striker, but it notable that it is goals that normally lead to exorbitant valuations.
Angel di Maria pictured during training with Real Madrid
The fee makes Di Maria more expensive than Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan to Barcelona for £59m), Kaka (AC Milan to Real Madrid for £56m), Edinson Cavani (Napoli to PSG for £55m), Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid to Monaco for £51m) and Neymar (Santos to Barcelona for £48.6m).
Transfermarkt.co.uk, which takes into consideration a player's performances, age, contract length and other such factors, value Di Maria at £44m.
Manchester United might also consider what else could have been achieved in the market this summer for the same sum of money.
Chelsea were able to land Spain internationals Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa for a combined sum of £62m. Liverpool landed Mario Balotelli, Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana for about the same sum - three players in three positions Manchester United look like they need to strengthen.
Diego Costa has scored two goals in two Premier League games since joining Chelsea
Ultimately, whether Di Maria will represent value for money will only become clear once he's had an opportunity to show what he can bring to Louis van Gaal's side. There is also an argument that Di Maria represents more than just a player to the most successful club in British history. He is also a marquee signing and a player that might be able to lift the gloom around Old Trafford. If his arrival can spark a turnaround in fortunes and see Manchester United compete with the best once again, he'll be priceless.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United: Jose Mourinho dismisses United injury worries, saying 'they have an amazing squad'
Aaron Hernandez: American Football in the dock as NFL star player's murderous double life is revealed
Chelsea vs Manchester United: Why Blues are the least popular team in the league
Arsene Wenger compares talk of Jurgen Klopp replacing him at Arsenal to a 'circus'
Chelsea vs Manchester United combined XI: Thibaut Courtois or David De Gea? Juan Mata or Willian? Who makes our team?
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'