Paris Saint-Germain expect Angel Di Maria to arrive at their pre-season training base in New Jersey today to complete a £45.9m transfer from Manchester United.
The French champions are confident they have secured a deal with the Argentina international, who is leaving Old Trafford a year after arriving from Real Madrid for a British record £59.7m.
Di Maria will undergo a medical but no complications are expected.
PSG’s next match on tour is against Manchester United on Thursday in Chicago. But it is likely to come too soon for the winger to make his debut against his former club; he was given extended time off by United following the Copa America and has yet to do any pre-season training.
The deal is being celebrated as a major coup at PSG despite Di Maria’s troubles at Manchester United, where he started just 20 Premier League games, scoring three goals.
Former Chelsea defender David Luiz, who moved to PSG for £50m last year, was at Benfica with Di Maria from 2007 to 2010. And he said: “For us it is very good if we can sign a fantastic player like Di Maria. He is one of the top three wingers in the world. He’s fast, technical, he plays for the team, he knows how to play as an individual, how to pass and how to score. He is a player that can help us go up another step.
“Why did it not work out in Manchester? Sometimes you cannot have luck in one place, but he is still a fantastic player.”
Asked whether a move to Ligue 1 was a step down, Luiz added: “No. He will love playing there like I do. It is a technical and tactical league and many, many fantastic players are there. There is a lot of young talent and they get a lot of chance to play there. I am very happy there and he will be too.”
Luiz’s excitement was echoed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has committed himself to PSG amid speculation linking him with United. Significantly, the Sweden striker believes Di Maria can help bring Champions League glory to Paris, as Gareth Bale did for Real Madrid in 2014.
PSG have been knocked out at the quarter-final stage for the past three years but Ibrahimovic said: “The Champions League is all about small details. Real Madrid are a fantastic team. They have fantastic players. Of course, when Real Madrid got Bale they became better for sure and we will become better for sure with Di Maria.”
Of his own reported link with Old Trafford, Ibrahimovic said: “No. That’s not true. I was in a programme. They were asking me: ‘How is your relationship with [Louis] Van Gaal. I said: ‘So and so but United is a fantastic club.’
“I am happy at PSG. I have one more year to play at PSG, then let’s see what happens.”
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