Sunderland vs Manchester United: Sunderland add to United pain but Real Madrid confirm £64m Angel Di Maria move

Further horror for Van Gaal after 1-1 draw at Sunderland however deal for Argentine winger should be concluded shortly

The stadium of light

Angel Di Maria was last night on the brink of completing his £63.9m British transfer record move from Real Madrid to Manchester United.

The Manchester United manager, Louis van Gaal, refused to confirm the transfer of the Argentine to Old Trafford had taken place, but he did not hide his admiration of the 26-year-old. Di Maria is expected to sign a five-year deal with a salary of around £180,000 a week.

“I cannot say anything about transfers, you have to understand that,” said Van Gaal after United’s 1-1 draw at Sunderland yesterday. “When a transfer has been finished then we can say something. But now you have to wait and see. When the moment is there Manchester United shall announce it.

“It is not only Di Maria, maybe Vidal or Messi! We are a big club. The club always has to announce, and when we think it is the right time we will come to you and say, ‘OK, we have bought this player or that player’. At this time we can’t say anything but I like Di Maria.”

 The Real Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti, confirmed that the player had already said his farewells to his team-mates. “Di Maria has not trained with us today [yesterday] and he came in to say goodbye to the players and people at the club,” he said. “There is nothing official yet but it is being sorted out. The decision is his and the club has done what it could to keep him here.”

Read more: Ferguson looms over Van Gaal at Stadium of Light

Real Madrid stunned Manchester United by asking for nearly £75m for the forward. Manchester United had expected to pay nearer the £60m that Paris Saint-Germain had been quoted when they sought to take the player to France.

The compromise figure of £64m is believed to have satisfied both parties and Van Gaal is eager to add the player to a squad that has struggled for form in their opening two Premier League games.

Angel Di Maria in action in the Spanish Super Cup for Real Madrid Angel Di Maria in action in the Spanish Super Cup for Real Madrid  

The transfer will top the £50m Chelsea paid Liverpool for Fernando Torres in 2011. United have already spent £72m this summer to sign left-back Luke Shaw from Southampton, midfielder Ander Herrera and defender Marcos Rojo. Di Maria joined Real Madrid from Benfica for £36 million in 2010.

The potential signing of the Argentine was hailed by the club’s former defender Gary Neville.

“He can run and Manchester United haven’t got any pace in wide areas. It is incredible,” said Neville. “That is what the club has been built on for the last 10 to 15 years - being able to get from box to box quickly, being able to spring on teams, having people that can dribble and are quick in the final third. They have Adnan Januzaj but they really have lost that variety.”

That veiled criticism was backed up by Van Gaal’s verdict following another unconvincing display at the Stadium of Light. United could only manage a one-one draw after going ahead through Juan Mata, a result that leaves them with just one point from opening games against Swansea and Sunderland. Van Gaal conceded that is not good enough and also criticised the pace of his team’s passing.

Read more: Di Maria has said his goodbyes - Ancelotti
Di Maria factfile
Van Gaal has gone from 'king to devil'

The passing was all too slow, or all too fast, all too hasty. And then you lose a lot of balls and the tempo goes out of the game so that in my opinion was the reason.

“No, I cannot say that (it was a better performance than last week) because last week we created more chances. Football is all about creating chances and scoring goals, and we didn’t create enough chances today.

“We probably had more ball possession and were more dominant than the last match but you still have to win the game and we couldn’t so that is a pity.”

Van Gaal did defend Ashley Young, who was booked once more for diving.

Ashley Young was booked for diving but Van Gaal said his player should have had a penalty Ashley Young was booked for diving but Van Gaal said his player should have had a penalty  

He lifted the ball across the player and the player was kickng him. And after that I think he was jumping too muchbut what counts is that he was kicked by the opponent. And the referee could have given a penalty.

“He could also have given one when when Van Persie. You oculd see Van Persie was already losing the ball but the tackle was coming and htta is why the referee has to give a penalty.

“Nevertheless we have to create more chances than look for penalties.”

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015