Angel Di Maria to leave Manchester United: Why the £59.7m signing won't leave this summer

The Argentinian has struggled since joining from Real Madrid, leading to speculation he could make a hasty exit

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The Independent Football

Angel Di Maria is reportedly pushing for a move away from Old Trafford, just seven months after joining Manchester United for a British record transfer fee of £59.7m.

The reasoning behind such claims are multiple and logical.

Di Maria's form has been nowhere near the standards expected of a player who last season put in a man of the match display as Real Madrid won the Champions League final, was a consistent performer alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in a devastating attack and did as much as anyone to take Argentina to the World Cup final in Brazil.

Some of the blame for Di Maria's poor form, which declined after a promising start, has been laid at the feet of Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal. It's been suggested the Dutchman's propensity to change his system, formations and play members of his team out of position has impacted on Di Maria.

In addition, there was an attempted burglary on Di Maria's home which is understood to have unsettled the 27-year-old's wife.

However, despite the difficult circumstances surrounding the start to Di Maria's Old Trafford career, the likelihood of him departing just a year after arriving is low.

With regards to the burglary incident, Van Gaal has indicated that he does not think this will be a factor for the player. "Despite [the burglary] he is very pleased to be here at Manchester United," he said earlier this month.

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Angel Di Maria with Louis van Gaal

 

Meanwhile with regard to Di Maria's form, despite concerns, a player does not lose his talent overnight and there is an expectancy that he will come good. How his form is measured must also be considered. Di Maria's goalscoring has always been low - something Manchester United were aware of when they signed him. In 45 La Liga and Champions League appearances for Real Madrid last season he scored seven goals. This term, he's played 21 Premier League games and scored three.

In terms of chances created the statistics also read similar to last season. In those 45 matches last term, he registered 22 assists and created 109 chances. In 21 matches this season he's created nine and provided 46 chances.

 

However the chief factor as to why Di Maria will not be sold this summer is financial.

Manchester United paid a British record transfer fee to bring him to Old Trafford and moving the player on after a perceived poor season could see them make a hefty loss. Di Maria is also the type of 'marquee' player that brings interest and prestige to a club at a time when the club are missing Champions League football and not guaranteed to be sitting at Europe's top table next season. Attracting that kind of calibre player next season if United do not finish in the top four will be difficult.

“As a manager, you can never say no or yes because the player at the end shall always decide but I don’t think he shall move,” Van Gaal said recently.

With regards to letting Di Maria leave for personal reasons, Van Gaal suggested he is not the type of manager to stand in a player's way - although admitted the commercial element could weigh more heavily than the personal.

“I’m always like that. When you see my history – that’s part of my philosophy. A player is not just a man who kicks the ball from A to B. Also, his environment is influencing him.

“So, I shall always be open for that conversation but I know also the commercial interests of the club and we have to respect that. You cannot give a lot of money for a player and then next season put him out of your selection.

“I think that he shall stay because what I have seen in his reaction, after the defeat and after his red card (against Arsenal in the FA Cup last Monday), is very good and I like his attitude.”

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