Manchester United are close to securing the signature of Argentina winger, Ángel Di María, for around $68 million. Reports in various newspapers and TV news channels claim the Real Madrid man as asked to join Louis van Gaal’s Old Trafford revolution.
Di María, who is currently fighting off a thigh injury in a bid to be fit for the World Cup final against Germany on Sunday, could be a United player as early as next week. Van Gaal, who is set to join up with United for the first time next week, is understood to want Di María to be registered by then.
The Argentina winger is also believed to have received serious offers from Ligue 1 clubs Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco, as well as two Italian outfits. Di María is said to have already agreed a reported $257,000-a-week salary to move to the Premier League. Real were said to be keen to hold onto one of their key men but refused to kowtow to Di María’s high salary demands. Instead, he looks like he may be following Ander Herrera, who joined United from Athletic Bilbao, and Luke Shaw, who joined from Southampton, to Old Trafford.
The signing of Di María would be a real statement of intent from Manchester United, who are desperate to erase the pain of last season, when David Moyes’ short sting in charge saw the club finish outside of a European spot for the first time in nearly two decades. The pressure has been on the 2013 champions to sign big names and show last season was just a blip. It also follows the high-profile move of Alexis Sánchez from Barcelona to Premier League side Arsenal, which was completed yesterday, plus Luis Suárez’s transfer from Liverpool to the Camp Nou. For United, it would be a major coup for executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who came in for a lot of criticism last summer when he only managed to secure Marouane Fellaini from Everton for a vastly inflated $46 million. United’s shortcomings in the transfer market last season are what ultimately cost Moyes his job. The lack of quality and strength in depth meant United were unable to even challenge for the title.
It is understood United and Real valued Di María at two very different prices, with the former coming in with an offer of $10m less than the latter was asking for. However, United have now upped their offer and look like they have secured their man. Now the future looks brighter for United. Although they will lack European competition, they will benefit from only playing one game a week and so they will be fresher than their biggest rivals come domestic matches.
As Manchester United are close to securing the $68m Di María from Real Madrid, so to are they securing the belief from their fans that the Red Devils are going to launch a serious assault on the title. In Herrera, Shaw and potentially Di María, United have the nucleus of a very attack-minded side. If nothing else, it is a far cry from the prosaic United of last season.
Commentary by Robert Shepherd