Carlo Ancelotti has returned to Real Madrid from his holiday and will immediately set about the task of convincing Angel Di Maria to remain at the Bernabeu, reports El Confidencial.
The Argentina international is still enjoying a summer break after his World Cup exploits, but has apparently told the club that he wants to leave. With Real Madrid officials keen to bring in James Rodriguez, that suits them just fine.
Ancelotti crunch talks
However, for Ancelotti, Di Maria remains a key part to his plans. The Italian managed to reinvent to 26-year-old last year, moving him from a wide to a more central position; one which he thrived in.
Despite his success, Di Maria wants to go somewhere he can play in his favoured position. There are plenty of teams willing to offer him the chance to do just that.
Interest in Di Maria is naturally high. PSG are reportedly closest to completing a deal but the player prefers the Premier League. Manchester United are the only club to have come forward in recent weeks with Louis van Gaal reportedly commissioning a £38 million bid and a £150,000-a-week contract offer.
In fact, reports claimed that Old Trafford officials were growingly confident that a deal could be completed before the transfer window closes, despite the fact that PSG are still regarded as favourites by the Spanish broadsheet.
With Real Madrid keen to sell, it seemed that only PSG were standing in Manchester United's way, but now Ancelotti is ready to block Di Maria's route out the Bernabeu exit door.
James Rodriguez deal
Strangely, Ancelotti has told Real Madrid officials to go ahead and pursue a deal for World Cup Golden Boot winner Rodriguez, who is likely to cost around £63 million from Monaco. Some sources say a deal is already in place, while others say it is merely close.
The consensus has been that Real Madrid would have to sell Di Maria in order to balance to books should Rodriguez come in - similar to their sale of Mesut Ozil when Gareth Bale arrived last summer. But Ancelotti has said he wants Di Maria to stay regardless of whether he arrives and that he is willing to fit both into his system.
Other fundraising ideas
Real Madrid could instead raise funds with the sale of Iker Casillas, who is rumoured to want a fresh start after a calamitous World Cup. He is also no closer to regaining his place in the Los Blancos team and wants to leave. Any sale is likely to fetch a healthy sum, although not in the region of Di Maria.
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