Manchester United’s Argentinian playmaker Angel Di Maria is being linked with an exit from Old Trafford this summer, with French giants PSG being heavily linked with a move for the former-Benfica ace.
When Manchester United completed the British-record £59.7million signing of Di Maria last summer from Real Madrid it was considered a major coup for the Red Devils, even if the fee was a big one.
Di Maria was one of Real’s most impressive players in the previous campaign, as he helped the club to La Decima, scoring seven goals and producing 22 assists in all competitions. A subtle change of position seemed to bring the best out of Di Maria.
Di Maria was converted from a traditional wide player to a central midfielder by Real’s Italian boss Carlo Ancelotti. The move proved an inspired one as Di Maria became the creative hub of the Real team.
Other players like Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and particularly Cristiano Ronaldo may have picked-up the glory, but it was Di Maria who was pulling the strings for Los Blancos.
When Louis van Gaal arrived at United last summer the squad was in need of an injection of quality players. They needed a marquee signing to announce to the world they meant business.
That marquee signing was Di Maria, the Argentinian who had been such an inspiration for Real Madrid. Di Maria was a popular character at Real amongst the Los Blancos fans and there was widespread dismay at his departure.
However he was not considered ‘Galactico enough’ for the clubs hierarchy who are all about the bling and image.
Di Maria was replaced in the Spanish capital by the new golden boy of world football James Rodriguez of Colombia. James fitted the Galactico tag far better than the un-picturesque Di Maria.
In truth Di Maria’s debut campaign in English football was not terrible, although United fans would have expected more from the midfielder considering his hefty price tag. He scored four goals and also produced ten assists in 32 appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions last season.
It is probably unfair to judge the midfielder on his debut campaign, as only 20 of those appearances were starts and his maiden campaign in the English top-flight was hampered by injury problems.
The injury problems did not help him settle into his new surroundings, as Di Maria was reported to have struggled to settle into life in England.
Doubts over his future have been compounded by United boss Louis van Gaal admitting that Di Maria’s future at United is uncertain. The 27-year-old is currently on extended leave following his participation in the Copa America with his international side.
He is believed to have told the United boss that he will be a United player when he returns from international duty on 25th July. Whether Di Maria is part of the United squad for much longer after that date appears up in the air at the moment.
Van Gaal seems to be making all the right noises about Di Maria staying, but there now seems to be a big question mark over his United future.
A potential swap deal for PSG’s Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani could provide a solution to United. The 28-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to United and the Red Devils are in need of a new striker.
The bookmakers clearly believe that Di Maria is heading to the French capital this summer, as the Argentine is now odds of 4/6 to be a PSG player when the European transfer window shuts in September.
Cavani has often been linked with big money moves to the Premier League, with Chelsea being heavily linked with the striker on a number of occasions.
The Uruguayan is one of the most prolific strikers in the world game. Last season he scored 31 goals in 52 appearances for PSG in all competitions, despite not always being played in his favoured position of central striker.
Cavani would definitely be a stellar addition to the United squad. He has scored goals wherever he has played and on his day is very difficult to stop.
For me Angel Di Maria is a class act and would be a key member of most teams. He may not be a glamourous figure, but he is a skilful, intelligent and hard-working player.
It would be a major shame if the Argentine only had one season in England, as Premier League fans are yet to see the best of the talented playmaker. However it is starting to look increasingly likely that Di Maria will be plying his trade in Ligue One in the new season, which would be a major shame for United and the Premier League as a whole.
Could Angel Di Maria move on this summer?