Angel Di Maria latest: Barcelona and Lionel Messi to be thwarted in pursuit of Manchester United winger amid reports of contract 'clause'

Argentina winger has been linked with Nou Camp move

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The Independent Football

Any chance of Angel Di Maria joining Barcelona looks to have been thwarted amid reports that Manchester United have issued a hands-off warning and that the player has a clause in his contract that means he cannot be sold to the Champions League winners anwyay.

Recent speculation suggests that Barcelona are keen on signing the Argentina international this summer. There are claims that Lionel Messi has influenced the desire to sign Di Maria having expressed a wish to link up at club level with his international team-mate.

However, Manchester United have reportedly issued a hands-off warning to Barcelona, and any other potential suitors, by insisting their £59.7m man is not for sale.

There are also claims that Di Maria has a clause in his contract, inserted at the insistence of his former club Real Madrid, that he not be sold to Barcelona. Fears that the winger could use United as a stepping stone to their fiercest rivals are behind the insistence of the stipulation.

Di Maria, who is currently in action alongside Messi at the Copa America, has said himself that he will be at Manchester United next season. However, yesterday he risked irking the Old Trafford hierarchy by suggesting he was unsure why he found himself on the bench towards the end of the season.

"Not everything goes as I want, because I don’t play," he said.

"Because I came with an intention and end up on the bench. It’s hard to tell how I feel there.”

He added: “I started well, with goals and assists. I was having a good time, until I was out. It’s a little hard to explain why I do not play.”