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

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.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project