Angel di Maria: Manchester United target has asked to leave Real Madrid, confirms Carlo Ancelotti
PSG are also interested in the Argentina winger
Thursday 21 August 2014
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Manchester United target Angel di Maria has rejected a contract renewal with the European champions and has asked to leave the club.
The Argentine's future has been up in the air all summer but it's the first time the Madrid coach has confirmed the player wants to leave the Santiago Bernabeu. United and Paris St. Germain have been leading the chase for the World Cup star and could now move to secure the services of the talented 26-year-old before the transfer window closes in just over a week.
"Di Maria asked to leave and he refused a new contract offer but he's a Real Madrid player until we find a solution," Ancelotti said in a press conference on Thursday ahead of Madrid's Spanish Super Cup second leg clash with Atletico Madrid.
The Italian confirmed Di Maria, who topped the assists charts in La Liga last season with 17 and took the man-of-the-match plaudits in Los Blancos' 4-1 Champions League final triumph over Atletico in May, is still available to play while he's a Madrid player but the revelation means he is unlikely to play a part in Friday's Super Cup clash at the Vicente Calderon. He joined the rest of his teammates at Madrid's Valdebebas training base on Thursday morning.
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Di Maria featured for the final 15 minutes of Tuesday night's first leg, which finished 1-1 as Raul Garcia's struck late to cancel out James Rodriguez's opener, and got a huge applause from the Bernabeu faithful who are keen to see a player who was arguably Madrid's best last season remain in the Spanish capital as Los Blancos battle for success on six fronts this season.
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Madrid have slapped a price tag in excess of £50 million on the former Benfica man but United boss Louis van Gaal is a big admirer of the wing wizard and the Red Devils are eager to bolster a squad that missed out on the Champions League last season and kicked-off this season's Premier League campaign with a 2-1 home defeat against Swansea City at the weekend. Van Gaal has already name-dropped Di Maria this summer and the club has confirmed they have the money to spend big on new recruits.
Atletico manager Diego Simeone stirred the pot after Tuesday night's first leg by saying his fellow countryman is Madrid's star man. "Di Maria is Madrid's best player for sure," said Simeone with a wry smile. "His ability to unbalance games helps everyone else to play well.” He added: “The game went more as we wanted than they did. In the first half we had three or four good chances and in the second half they were better with Di Maria."
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Paris St. Germain were close to signing the Argentina international earlier this summer but were unable to complete a deal due to Financial Fair Play rules.
Sami Khedira has also turned down a new contract with Madrid but Ancelotti says the German World Cup winner is not actively looking for a way out of the Bernabeu this month. The midfielder has been linked with Premier League duo Arsenal and Chelsea, as well as Bayern Munich, and Madrid may well be keen to cash-in this summer and not lose him for free when his contract expires next year.
"Khedira has one more year and has rejected a new deal," he said. "It is different to Di Maria as he has not asked to leave." The former Stuttgart man did not even make the squad for Tuesday's Super Cup match and is set to miss out again for Friday's second leg.
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