Paris Saint-Germain’s not waiting any longer, be if for Real Madrid to come down in price or the club to decide on Ángel Di María’s future. With the team’s season starting this weekend, the Ligue 1 champions have decided to move on, ending a pursuit of the Argentine midfielder that was expected to end in $80 to $87 million transfer fee.
“We spoke to Real about Di María but he was too expensive,” PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi revealed on Thursday, with various reports confirming the French titans had called off their pursuit.
Already paying over $80 million (£50 million) for former Chelsea defender David Luiz, the Parisians are already at the limits of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations. Having been sanctioned by its confederation, Paris Saint-Germain risks further Champions League restricts if its overspending continues.
One buyer that doesn’t have those limitations: Manchester United, who has filled another room for Scrooge McDuck with all the sponsorships they’ve booked in the last year. They may have golden hood ornaments on their kits, but the Red Devils also have enough money to push PSG off this sale.
According to England’s Press Association, United’s now considered the favorite to land the Argentine international, whose injury at this summer’s World Cup prevented him from meeting manager Louis van Gaal and the Netherlands in the tournament’s semifinals.
Van Gaal, whose team has played a 3-5-2 formation this summer, has hinted he’d also like to play 4-3-3, a system in which di María could serve a number of roles. Last year with Real Madrid, the 26-year-old often played on top of a middle three, even though most of his career’s seen the former Benfica player star featured in a wider role.
Even in a system that uses three central defenders, di María could serve a number of purposes, with his versatility allowing him to play a wing back’s role, should options become limited.
If van Gaal wants the option of playing two formations, no player may enable that as well as Ángel di María.