Arsenal are one of four clubs preparing a bid of around €40m for Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria this summer. Manchester City are planning to make a similar offer, as are French clubs Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco.
Marca report that some Real Madrid officials would be prepared to sell the Argentina international, even though the 26-year-old has enjoyed arguably his best campaign since arriving at the Bernabeu in 2010. Di Maria has made 50 appearances for Los Blancos this season, scoring 11 goals and providing 21 assists.
Sources close to the attacking winger, who has adapted well to a central role at times this season, say Di Maria has not ruled out the possibility of leaving the Spanish giants this summer - although he wants his future settled after next month’s World Cup finals, and not before the showpiece international tournament, in order to arrive in Brazil fully focused on helping Argentina win their first World Cup since 1986.
Di Maria was linked with a move away from Real Madrid last summer, following the arrival of £86m Gareth Bale from Tottenham. The South American found himself relegated to the bench on occasions at the start of the season, which caused friction between the winger and the club’s hierarchy. Likewise a delay revising his contract also strained the relationship between player and club.
Arsenal paid a club-record £42.5m to sign Di Maria’s ex-Real Madrid teammate Mesut Ozil last summer, and it seems the Gunners want to strengthen their squad again ahead of the 2014/15 campaign by securing the services of the world-class Argentine, who will hope to win his first Champions League winners’ medal with Los Blancos later this month.
Manchester City, AS Monaco and PSG will probably be able to offer Di Maria more money in terms of wages, but all three clubs have been warned by UEFA about the need to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations - unlike Arsenal, whose finances have been managed superbly over recent seasons, which could give them an advantage in the race to sign Di Maria.