Manchester United: Angel di Maria agrees terms with PSG
Farewell, then, Angel Di Maria. The Times say the Argentine will leave Manchester United for Paris Saint-Germain. The paper says Di Maria has agreed personal terms with the French champions.
A mere 11 months since Di Maria became British football’s record signing – €75m (then £59.7m) and a basic annual salary of £11.96m – he’s off.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was the man who wanted Di Maria. And the Times says Van Gaal was the also the man who ruined him:
Privately, Di Maria blamed Van Gaal for removing the confidence with which he arrived in England following a man-of-the-match performance in the 2014 Champions League final and his integral role for Argentina at the World Cup.
The Mail says “Angel di Maria will have to formally ask Manchester United for a transfer if he wants to leave Old Trafford.”
Submitting a transfer request is always the modern player’s last resort simply because it waives any right to a financial pay off.
But it’s not all about the money for Di Maria, the poor, hyperactive kid who became a star. He wants to play.
James Ducker wonders why he hasn’t:
In Di María’s defence, he seems to have been one of the most high-profile victims of Van Gaal’s exacting demands, in particular the manager’s wish that players should not play intuitively, an approach that has invited accusations that the Dutchman hinders his most creative talents by coaching the flair out of the team.
It is easy to miss, but it has not been uncommon this season to see a rather uneasy Di María regularly glancing over to the dugout during matches, almost out of fear that he might be doing something out of turn. The sight of Britain’s most expensive footballer, at £59.7 million, appearing to second-guess himself in this way is a little disconcerting.
For the huge sums United spent, fans were entitled to expect brilliance. Di María provided it in flashes. But he never settled. How much of that disappointment can be laid at Van Gaal’s door remains to be seen.