Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has hinted that he could be set to sign a winger and even mentioned Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria as a ‘winger of the highest level’, when asked about his squad.
United vice-chairman Ed Woodward has stated the club is prepared to break the world-record transfer fee in order to strengthen their team this summer.
Responding to that comment Van Gaal told the Sunday Mirror : “It is a strategy of Manchester United to do that. At this moment, we have five No.9s and four No.10s – and we don’t have wingers to give us attacking width.
“Or, I should say, we don’t have wingers of the highest level, like Ronaldo or Di Maria or somebody like that. So, I have to play in another way – and you have seen that already. I only buy when I think we need to buy – in the position that is necessary.”
With his position in the Real Madrid team under threat from the summer arrival of Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez, Di Maria has been heavily linked with a move away from the Spanish capital this summer. Manchester United’s name has never been far away from the speculation.
Big spending French outfit PSG were in negotiations to sign DI Maria from Los Blancos, but the French club claimed that the negotiations stopped because it would be too expensive to sign the Argentinian midfielder.
PSG have already splashed out £50million on Brazilian centre-back David Luiz and French club could struggle to meet FFP rules if they make another mega-money signing this summer.
It seems that it could clear the way for United to snap-up the former-Benfica star this summer, with a reported fee of £55million being mooted.
Van Gaal’s statement will raise further doubts over the futures of United wingers Antonia Valencia, Ashley Young and Nani.
Young has been used as a wing-back during pre-season and looks in decent form. Nani is consistently inconsistent and Valencia enjoyed a stop-start campaign last season, although the Ecuador international is also versatile.
Van Gaal obviously does not believe that the trio of wingers are good enough for his United team and certainly not of the highest level.
I doubt any of United’s current wingers can claim to be in the same class as Di Maria. The Argentine was simply outstanding for Los Blancos last season. For much of the campaign the 26-year-old operated as a central midfielder, rather than a winger and the change suited his game.
Di Maria was instrumental in Real’s Champions League victory over neighbours Atletico Madrid, as Los Blancos achieved La Decima.
His performance in La Liga was just as impressive, as he scored four goals and collected an impressive 17 assists for the men from the Spanish capital. In fact his assist record was better than any player in Europe’s top leagues.
Despite his performance last season, he is still not considered to be a marquee player in the Real team, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale overshadowing his talents. Di Maria seems to be seriously underappreciated at Real, by the hierarchy anyway.
Angel Di Maria is a player that changes games. He influences when others struggle to inspire and that is the sort of quality that Manchester United could benefit from in their midfield. The Red Devils are in need of a midfield dictator, who will create for others from the middle of the park.
Angel Di Maria would be a truly marquee summer signing for Manchester United, which the Red Devils have not made for a good while and which their fans had been crying out for since last summer when former-boss David Moyes struggled to strengthen his squad.
If Manchester United were to sign the Argentinian international this summer then the Red Devils would be signing a truly quality player and would be far more likely to be successful with the Argentinian in their team.
Will Manchester United sign Di Maria this summer?