Carlo Ancelotti confirms Di Maria has “said goodbye” ahead of a transfer


Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed reports that Argentinian winger is on the verge of a move away from the Bernebau.

Without naming where, Ancelotti said Di Maria has made the appropriate gestures concurrent with a departure to another club.

“Di Maria arrived at our training facilities but didn’t practice,” Ancelotti said in the club’s prematch press conference ahead of their league opener. “The conclusion of the negotiation is very close. He came here to say goodbye and we thanked him for what he has done and we wished his good luck for his future.”

Di Maria is heavily linked with a huge-money move to Manchester United, and would provide Louis van Gaal with the iconic player he will have been searching for in the transfer market.

According to Ancelotti, there is nothing left to do but cross t’s and dot i’s, and it wasn’t without a fight that the player left for pastures new.

“It’s done, it’s not official yet but it’s done. I have an excellent relationship with him, he made this decision, the club did everything to keep him.”

Reports say he could be unveiled at Manchester United early this coming week.

Many things could fall into place after the move, with Falcao rumored to be the man on his way in, but reports from France still insist Monaco don’t want to sell.

Reports from Spain say Cristiano Ronaldo begged president Florentino Perez not to sell, but the player and president don’t get along after the head man has decided for World Cup stars as his men instead.

Di Maria led La Liga in assists last year and helped Real Madrid to a Champions League championship last season.

LINEUPS: Tim Howard starts for USMNT against Costa Rica

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01:  Tim Howard of the United States gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
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The United States takes on Costa Rica in a friendly tonight at Red Bull Arena, as the USMNT must put the Mexico match behind them and focus on the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

The biggest inclusion in tonight’s starting XI is that of Tim Howard in goal, marking his return to the national side after taking a self-imposed sabbatical. It will be Howard’s first appearance for the USMNT since his legendary performance against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.

Klinsmann has chosen to go with a 4-4-2 tonight, and Geoff Cameron remains the only starter in the back-line from the Mexico match. He’ll partner with Michael Orozco in the center of defense, with Brad Evans and Tim Ream on the outsides.

[ MORE: Fabian Johnson sent home from USMNT after fall-out with Klinsmann ]

In the midfield, Klinsmann has put some speed on the wings through the likes of DeAndre Yedlin and recent call-up Brek Shea. Danny Williams joins Jermaine Jones as the central midfielders.

Up top, Jozy Altidore will play alongside Gyasi Zardes, who returns to his more comfortable position as forward.

Cristiano Ronaldo wins record fourth European Golden Boot

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 13:  Real Madrid football player Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his four Golden Boot Awards as maximun goal scorer of European leagues at The Westin Palace Hotel on October 13, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Cristiano Ronaldo has added another trophy to the collection, winning his fourth Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer for the 2014-15 season.

The award accounts for goals in league play only, which means the Champions League and domestic tournaments are not included. In La Liga, Ronaldo scored 48 goals in 35 appearances.

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Ronaldo first won the award after the 2007-08 season with Manchester United, and has now added three more with Real Madrid in 2010-11, 2013-14, and 2014-15.

With his fourth win, Ronaldo moves ahead of Lionel Messi as the only player to win the award four times. Messi has won three, while eight players have won two.

Below is a post from Ronaldo’s Facebook page reflecting on the award:

What a special moment in my professional life!

Winning four Golden Boots is a privilege for me and I’ll keep challenging myself because I want to do better every time and I want to keep chasing for more records.

I have to thank everyone in Real Madrid that made this possible and we want to keep winning more titles and more trophies. Thank you everyone.

Ronaldo alone scored more goals in La Liga play last season than 14 clubs did, which shows how prolific his season was. The only player to score more than 48 league goals in a European season was Messi, who scored 50 in 2011-12.

[ EURO 2016: A look at the 20 teams that have qualified for France ]

While it was a successful year for Ronaldo personally, it was a very disappointing campaign for Real Madrid, who fired manager Carlo Ancelotti after finishing the season without a trophy.