Manchester United continue to hold an interest in Real Madrid star Angel Di Maria but are not confident that a deal will be done.
United, who last night lodged a £15m offer for Sporting Lisbon defender Marcos Rojo and ruled themselves out of the running for Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado, still feel that Paris Saint-Germain are the frontrunners for Di Maria; Monaco are also reportedly interested in the player.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said they were no longer in the running for Di Maria, but with Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi possibly on the way out, PSG could make a move and still comply with Financial Fair Play, if they sold players.
Still no great optimism at #mufc that Angel Di Maria will be signing. There's interest but a feeling that he is more likely to head to PSG— ian herbert (@ianherbs) August 13, 2014
Louis van Gaal heaped praise on the 26-year-old earlier this week, saying his unbalanced squad did not have any wingers with the kind of quality that Di Maria possesses.
"It is a strategy of Manchester United to do that," the Dutchman said. "At this moment, we have five No 9s and four No 10s – and we don’t have wingers to give us attacking width.
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"Or, I should say, we don't have wingers of the highest level, like [Cristiano] Ronaldo or Di Maria or somebody like that. So, I have to play in another way – and you have seen that already. I only buy when I think we need to buy – in the position that is necessary."
Di Maria is rated at around £50m after a stellar season last year where he was a key part of the Real Madrid side that won the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.
He scored 11 goals in all competitions and has been credited with 26 assists – indeed, Spanish media claim Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo will attempt to block any potential exit.
However, with the arrival of James Rodriguez and Karim Benzema signing a new contract until 2019, Di Maria may be the odd one out in Carlo Ancelotti’s loaded Real Madrid squad.
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