According to a report by France Football, Manchester United has agreed to sell Angel Di Maria to Paris Saint-Germain for $71 million.
The report states Di Maria is vacationing in the United States following the Copa America, and that he could join the PSG squad in Charlotte as soon as Friday or Saturday.
Di Maria was reportedly close to joining PSG last summer, but Financial Fair Play restrictions ended any chance of him moving to Ligue 1 at that time. Instead, he joined Manchester United for $82 million. A year later, with FFP on its way out, the French champions are free to strike for their wanted man.
Following his switch to Old Trafford a year ago, the 27-year-old never fully assimilated into life in England, with his house broken into and his wife reportedly unhappy in Manchester. Di Maria adapted to Premier League play relatively well, but still somehow wasn’t given the job security most first-teamers crave.
Despite playing in just 27 Premier League appearances – just 20 of those starts – Di Maria led Manchester United with 51 chances created, one more than Juan Mata who logged 664 more minutes. Yet down the stretch of the season, with the Red Devils gunning to secure a Champions League spot, Van Gaal played Di Maria for no more than 27 minutes in any of the club’s final 10 league matches. He finished the league season with three goals and 11 assists.
That benching of sorts ruined any sort of relationship that Manchester United may have had with Di Maria. Despite all his struggles assimilating into life in England, most players are moved by their club situation, and had Louis van Gaal played his world-class Argentinian more last season, they would have likely been able to keep him longer than one season.
Instead, Manchester United will undo all the hard work they’ve done in the transfer market this summer by losing arguably their best attacking player, and only their manager is to blame for not making him feel wanted. With the club making a return to the Champions League and looking to challenge for the Premier League title once again, they’ll have to do so without the creative wizard out wide.
Alternatively, Di Maria will join a PSG squad already bursting with attacking talent but lacking the depth usually associated with top Champions League teams. He’ll join Argentina teammates Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore plus Marco Verratti and Lucas in the Parisian attack.
UPDATE: Apparently Manchester United isn’t giving up the fight. According to van Gaal, Di Maria will be joining the Red Devils squad in the United States ahead of United’s game against Barcelona outside San Francisco. However, van Gaal said he cannot play yet because of a lack of fitness.