Paris Saint-Germain are keen to sign Ángel Di María on loan from Real Madrid to navigate UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, according to reports. Under the terms of the deal, the French champions want to sign Di María on a one-year contract with a fee of up to $81 million to follow in 2015. However, the proposal has yet to be accepted by Real.
PSG were recently found to be in breach of the FFP regulations and so have been limited to spending $68m this pre-season – a sum they have already reached from the signing of David Luiz from Chelsea. Nevertheless, the Ligue 1 outfit are keen to secure the services of Di María ahead of Manchester United, who have been trailing the player all summer. It has also been reported that Real are planning to use the money raised from the sale of Di María to buy James Rodríguez from Monaco and so would prefer cash up front. Some newspapers have also claimed that PSG will consider selling Uruguay international Edinson Cavani to United to fund the deal and keep the Old Trafford side happy in the event they lose out on the Argentina international.
United manager Louis van Gaal is currently in the United States with his squad as they take part in a pre-season tour of the country. There they will face the likes of LA Galaxy, Real Madrid, Internazionale and Roma. Yet while van Gaal will use this period to get to know his players, he is still keen to sign a number of players ahead of the new season and Di María is reportedly still top of that list. So far van Gaal has sanctioned the signings of Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao and Luke Shaw from Southampton but he knows he needs at least three to five more players if he is to make any serious assault on the Premier League next season.
It is understood Di María is open to a move to PSG due to the fact they will be in the Champions League next season, whereas United will miss out for the first time in two decades after they finished in a disappointing seventh spot last season. The poor finish, by United’s standards, came straight after David Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson in the dugout. Moyes only managed to hold onto the role for 10 months and was replaced by caretaker Ryan Giggs for the last four games of the season. Now that van Gaal has taken on the role, he is under no illusions that the United board expect immediate success and have put up the money to help him achieve that goal.
If it comes down to a straight fight between United and PSG to sign Di María, Real will be more interested in doing a deal with a straight cash buyer like the Premier League club. However, if Di María is keen on PSG, he will face the problem of the French side only being able to offer a loan deal. This might encourage one or two other big name clubs to enter this already intriguing race.
Commentary by Robert Shepherd