Angel Di Maria to Manchester United: Real Madrid winger 'close to a transfer' and has 'said his goodbyes', reveals Carlo Ancelotti
The Argentina international is expected to join Manchester United for a fee that could break the British transfer record
Sunday 24 August 2014
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that winger Angel Di Maria is on the verge of a move away from the European champions.
The Argentina international is reported to be closing on a big-money move to Manchester United and did not attend training with his Madrid team-mates at their Valdebebas training base on Sunday morning ahead of their league opener against Cordoba on Monday night.
The 26-year-old turned down a new contract with Los Blancos this summer and asked to leave the club despite Ancelotti revealing Madrid wanted to keep the former Benfica man.
Read more: Depleted United could do with John O'Shea
Injury problems mount for United
Van Gaal has gone from 'king' to 'devil'
Now a move to Old Trafford looks just a matter of days away with a British transfer record fee of over £60 million being reported and a five-year deal on the table for a player who is keen for a guaranteed starting role and a feeling of appreciation after growing unhappy at the Santiago Bernabeu in the last year.
"Di Maria has not trained with us," the Italian confirmed. "It's not official yet but he is close to a transfer. He has said his goodbyes and we thanked him for what he has done for us." He added: "Real Madrid has done everything possible to keep Di Maria. He has decided on something else so good luck to him."
The summer transfer window closes next week and United are desperate to add quality to a squad that kicked-off the new Premier League season with a home defeat against Swansea City last week, although reports suggest Manchester City may be keen to hijack the deal.
Di Maria will provide just that with a man-of-the-match performance in the Champions League final in May, which Real won 4-1 after extra-time against neighbours Atletico Madrid, adding to a domestic season in which he topped the assists chart in La Liga with 17.
Despite the Argentine's top performances last season he has been unsettled ever since Gareth Bale's record-breaking transfer from Tottenham Hotspur 12 months ago. Young Spanish midfielder Isco also arrived last summer to offer more competition in the Madrid midfield and reports in Spain suggest the player felt undervalued.
Eugenio Lopez, Di Maria's agent in Argentina, hinted that Madrid president Florentino Perez wanted to force the player out of the club last season when United, Arsenal and Monaco were linked with a move in January. “[Di Maria] has a contract which runs until 2018,” said Lopez. “Many clubs want him. There is a presidential issue there. But I do not want to talk about it."
He also showcased his frustration in Madrid's 0-0 stalemate against lowly Olimpic de Xativa by refusing to shake his manager's hand when he was substituted in the Copa del Rey clash. He also caused controversy in a match against Celta Vigo in January when he held his crotch as Ancelotti substituted him in the Liga clash.
But unlike Mesut Ozil, who opted for a move to Arsenal, Di Maria stayed at the club to battle for his place and became a key cog as Madrid won the Copa del Rey and a much sought-after tenth European Cup. It seems those performances were to attract the attention of potential suitors rather than secure his long-term future in the Spanish capital.
Ancelotti did not include Di Maria in his squad to face Atletico Madrid in Friday's Spanish Super Cup second leg, insisting after the match that he did not need the player despite falling to a 1-0 defeat at the Vicente Calderon. His final minutes in a Madrid shirt look to have come in last Tuesday's first-leg when Madrid fans gave him a huge welcome from the bench as he played the final 15 minutes.
Latest in Sport
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao live: Mayweather puts on defensive masterclass to win by unanimous decision
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin on Sky Sports Box Office?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does the fight start and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Only 132 pubs in the United Kingdom will show the fight - so where can you watch it?
Floyd Mayweather beats Manny Pacquiao by a unanimous points decision - but Pacquiao thinks he should have won, saying 'he did nothing'
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils