Laurent Blanc has put the scare into Manchester United fans.
The Paris Saint-Germain manager claims to be after Red Devils superstar Angel Di Maria, but says it will be difficult to land the Argentinian because of the high cost he would require to attain.
“We have our priorities,” Blanc told French paper L’Equipe, “but to strengthen such a team you must target guys who are at big clubs and who are not easy to pry away. That’s hardest for PSG. Di Maria, he’s good. We have more freedom, but it remains a difficult project for us because we’re not alone in wanting him. When you see the financial power of the English clubs, they are attacking everyone. Competition is very, very tough. Don’t forget, Manchester United paid a fortune to sign him. For us to work effectively, we have to think of other solutions. We must be proactive.”
He also claims that his French club isn’t the only team looking to pry Di Maria away from Old Trafford.
It’s hard to understand why Manchester United, after securing a return to Champions League play and spending big to improve the squad’s strength, would sell Di Maria. According to ESPN, Di Maria led the team in chances created during league play last season despite making just 27 Premier League appearances.
However, according to French radio station RMC, PSG made a formal inquiry to Manchester United for Di Maria, and the Red Devils are apparently interested in talks, having “responded favorably” to the inquiry.
It would seem that a sale of Di Maria would be a major step backwards for Manchester United, but if they wish to either balance the books or appease the (now relaxed) Financial Fair Play rules, it could certainly help that. The 27-year-old cost Manchester United $83 million just last summer. He scored four goals in 33 matches across all competitions for the Red Devils, but he spent much of last season’s stretch run coming off the bench, a move by Louis van Gaal that confused many.
Manchester United has splashed plenty of cash this summer, having secured Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Matteo Darmian all on deals of $20 million or more.